Senator Fred Risser
State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) said this morning that Senate Republicans are continuing their betrayal of the public trust by passing legislation to limit the DNR’s ability to monitor and regulate high capacity wells while restricting other property owners’ legal protections for themselves and their property.
“This proposal is a disaster in natural resource management and a gross affront to protecting the state’s public waters. Risser said. “Make no mistake: this is a huge giveaway by Republicans to big-Agri business interests at the expense of Wisconsin citizens and other landowners whose wells and lakes can be drained dry and there is nothing they can do about it.”
High-capacity wells (wells that have the capacity to withdraw more than 100,000 gallons of water per day) make it difficult for local communities and property owners to protect their own wells and land. This bill, Risser said, will allow high-capacity well owners to replace, repair, reconstruct, or transfer wells to new owners without additional review or oversight from the DNR, regardless of the damage done to nearby private wells, lakes or other waterways.
“This is another attempt by Republicans to privatize public waters for private gain. Adequate regulation and oversight of high-capacity wells is in the public’s interest and we as a society must continue making every effort to prevent private interests from taking control of the quality and availability of our water resources.” Risser said.
“Clean and plentiful water is a fundamental right of every Wisconsin citizen and is vital to the health of our communities.” Risser said. “Our state’s water resources and the health of our families and communities shouldn’t be treated as a commodity that can be bought or sold.”