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Madison– State Representative Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) released the following statement after the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy voted unanimously in favor of SB 168 relating to local assistance for remediating contaminated wells and failing wastewater treatment systems and award limits for contaminated well grants:

“I was pleased to see the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy vote in favor of Senate Bill 168 co-authored by Senator Cowles and myself.  This crucial piece of legislation will provide relief and access to clean water, a basic right most of us take for granted.

“The karst geo-region of Wisconsin is characterized by shallow soils over limestone bedrock. Underground streams flow within the bedrock, and sinkholes and fractures in the bedrock act as conduits to the surface, allowing pollutants to flow freely into the groundwater. The Karst region forms a “V” on the map of Wisconsin and includes all of Eastern Wisconsin. It is particularly problematic in Northeastern Wisconsin where there is a very high concentration of dairy cattle and very little soil to act as a filter to remove fecal contaminants before they reach the groundwater. Additionally, recent testing has shown that a high number of wells in Kewaunee County are contaminated by human feces.

“I would like to thank Senator Cowles and his staff for their partnership and dedication on this issue which is so important to our area. Additionally, I would like to recognize the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters for their support and enthusiasm for this bill.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly to pass the Assembly version of this bill so we can start providing the relief people deserve”.

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