MADISON – Democratic candidate for Governor Tony Evers today announced a new digital video highlighting Wisconsin’s growing drinking water crisis in addition to releasing a series of policies to keep Wisconsin’s kids safe. Over the last eight years, Governor Scott Walker has failed to address rampant lead poisoning in our water while also ignoring runoff pollution from mega farms which are dangerously contaminating wells and drinking water across Wisconsin. In addition to growing lead contamination through our water, lead paint continues to be the highest source of poisoning for our kids.
Evers “Safe Water, Safe Kids” proposal:
· Establish a comprehensive and permanent revolving loan program for lead pipe water service lines, lead-based internal plumbing and contaminated well replacements
· Allow school districts and villages, cities, towns and counties to exceed levy limits to replace lead pipe water service lines
· Create a thorough academic and behavioral intervention program for children with elevated blood lead levels
· Allow individuals to claim the Historic Preservation Tax Credit for 25% of costs incurred to remove and replace windows in a historic property to remediate a lead hazard
“From Watertown to Buffalo County to the City of Milwaukee – communities across Wisconsin are suffering from lead contaminated water worse than Flint, Michigan. As educators, we see the real impacts on our kids in our schools. Something more must be done,” said Evers. “There are hazardous levels of lead in the public water systems of one-third of Wisconsin’s counties.”
“Whether it’s Scott Walker’s allies wanting to arm our teachers with guns, ignoring years of physical abuse and sexual assault at Lincoln Hills, or Wisconsin’s drinking water crisis – Scott Walker has failed to protect Wisconsin’s kids. Period. What world are we living in where it’s ok for our kids to get sick from drinking tap water?” Evers asked.
“The dangerous effects of lead cannot be overstated. While it’s not something you can actually see with your eyes, it’s there and it’s hurting Wisconsin’s kids,” said Dr. Beth Neary, a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Council on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “There is no safe level of lead. Even at low levels of exposure, there can be permanent effects on the developing brains of children, resulting in developmental and behavioral problems such as lower IQ, difficulty paying attention, concentrating and emotional self-control.”
In addition to lead contamination, land owners across Wisconsin have been struggling with well contamination from the expansion of mega farms which produce and spread millions of gallons of manure every year. Manure contains bacteria, “E. coli”, that can result in kidney damage in children. In Kewaunee County, nearly one-third of wells have been contaminated and those looking to sell their homes have witnessed up to a 13% decrease in property value because of the large farm operations which in some cases contain thousands of cows.
“Every woman, man, and child in Wisconsin should be able to drink clean water from their tap,” said Evers. “This is not a negotiable policy. It is shocking that 24 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have hazardous levels of lead in the water. When I’m governor, I’ll change that.”
You can watch the video the Evers campaign released at the link here.