Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Senior WI officials define the drinking water challenges. Action needed.

I've used the phrase "Marshall Plan" in an interview with Michigan-based environmental writer Gary Wilson to describe what Great Lakes neighbor Wisconsin must do to effectively address its clean water challenges.

And I'd say the term I chose for dramatic effect describes what three of Gov. Evers' cabinet officers accurately laid out in a multi-agency document released last week "to reach a day when all [Wisconsin] is safe to drink."

Their recommendations cover these known, major issues:

Nitrates in groundwaterNonpoint pollutionForever (PFAS) chemicalsLead contaminationPathogens
They were highlighted at meetings this year of the Speaker's Task Force on Groundwater, and it's obvious that a lot of funding, inter-agency and bi-partisan cooperation is needed to make real, not marginal or incremental progress.

In the January words of Nancy Utesch, long-time clean water advocate in manure-soaked, CAFO-heavy Kewaunee County:

 'We have waited long enough."
What's needed now? More citizen involvement, serious funding and even more serious statewide and bi-partisan cooperation. Plus, honest commitment from office holders at all levels, or their replacements come election time.

Talll but necessary orders.

Manure flowing from a Kewaunee CAFO.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I call bullsh!t on DNR. Some of these recommendations are just supporting programs in other agencies. Some are rule changes that make no sense. Some are just a continuation of the same sad policies which started under Thompson and Doyle. Scott Walker decimated the DNR. Now is the time to rebuild with specific recommendations for additional staff and development of programs that actually do something.