Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Some WI groundwater safety bills may surface soon, but...

Update: Earlier Wednesday I said legislative proposals were coming, and indeed they did later in the day. Here is a link to an article laying out proposals by legislators and the Governor. Let's hope for a broad, effective consensus with out unneeded delay.
We're about to find out if 2020 in Wisconsin is a Year of Clean Water or a Year of GOP News Releases and Chaff.

Legislative proposals addressing groundwater health and safety issues could finally follow months of public forums statewide like the one held in Wood County Monday.
"This is a statewide problem and it's very regional as far as where soils are sensitive..the problems with nitrate contamination of groundwater can be extremely more serious," said Bill Leichtnam, chairman of the Wood County Citizens Groundwater Group.
The expectation for legislation after months of these meetings is tied to GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos appointment of a task force on water quality - - though I'm expecting little of substance given Republicans' ties to corporate agriculture and their unwillingness to get serious about groundwater and public health while they controlled state government in the Walker years:
You may remember that WI GOP Assembly Speaker and eager-beaver shadow governor Robin Vos threw together a water quality task force stacked 13-3 in favor of Republicans to pre-empt Gov. Evers' plans to begin addressing water pollution which Vos and Team Walker had either ignored or enabled for the last eight years.
And Vos himself at the first meeting of his task force threw cold water (sorry) on proposals he heard that required more spending: 
The idea of spending more money was not something Vos wanted to hear.
“Your solutions are mostly focused on asking for more money....” “I’ll be honest to say, between my County Board time and my state service, if everything that I funded was guaranteed to save money in the long run would have happened, we wouldn’t even need taxes … everybody thinks their plan saves money.”
Ideally, proposals would be bi-partisan and substantive. The needs are great and solutions long-overdue.

But we'll have to wait and see if anything emerges beyond news release, boiler-plate GOP support for voluntary measures, and fresh perks for developers who pledge 'conservation measures' for projects that eat up water-retaining shorelines and natural wetlands - as pitched at that initial Vos task force meeting with, yes, a Foxconn twist: 
Dave Giordano, executive director of the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, said the state could find a way to require developers to construct wetlands as part of their projects.
“If you have a parcel that has wetlands on it, the first reaction is ‘Don’t mess with the wetlands,’” Giordano said, adding a developer could modify the parcel that’s being built on to include wetlands in another area or municipalities could invest money that is paid by the developer in land that is in a floodplain area.
[Racine County Board Supervisor Monte] Osterman pointed to the Foxconn Technology Group development in Mount Pleasant as an example of a private business, which disturbed the wetlands that were present before building, possibly doing better for the local environment in the long run. 
See why "but...." is in this posting's headline?

This blog has covered these issues for years - - including here, recently, and a year ago, and in 2018, plus this summary, which speaks to some of Wisconsin's inertia over the last decade during Walker's reign of malignant public policy neglect:
I suspect the activity on my blog today about groundwater water contamination in the Central Sands area in rural Wisconsin was sparked by The New York Times piece Sunday, dateline Armenia, Wis.
Rural America’s Own Private Flint: Polluted Water Too Dangerous to Drink
I think what happens is that people Google the key words and get directed to some blog items, like these, below, for your files:

Beginning with this May 5 item:
Contaminated Central Sands waters echo Kewaunee County concerns
Also including this July 30 posting,
WI Central Sands the next Flint? Kewaunee County already soaks up that honor.
And this July 24 posting about CAFO contamination in the Central Sands area:
Central Sands residents: call legislators, agencies about the water. Now.
And this July 19 posting: 
Where you can't drink the WI water. Or step in it.
And this recent installment about CAFOs in a series just concluded about Walker's 8-year war on the Wisconsin environment. 

1 comment:

Maynard McKillen said...

"... if everything that I funded was guaranteed to save money in the long run would have happened, we wouldn’t even need taxes … everybody thinks their plan saves money.”

Huh, ol' Robbin' can turn his rationalizing on the Fox Con fiasco. "If everything that I funded (and misrepresented as a job-creating bonanza that actually failed miserably) would have happened, we wouldn't even need taxes."

Or, "If everything that I funded (and misrepresented as a job-creating banana at the behest of my masters, who were always going to be the only recipients of massive public welfare for no sane reason at all) would have happened, we wouldn't even need government."

Or, "If everything that I funded (and misrepresented as a job-creating bonanza that was always about optics before election time and never about serving my constituents) would have happened, we wouldn't even need taxes."

So ol' Robbin's conceit that he took office to "save money," that he supposedly champions the needs of his actual constituents, amounts to a load of manure, peddled by a lying weasel.