Contact: Rep. Katrina Shankland
May 29, 2019 Office: (608) 267-9649
MADISON – Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), Vice Chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality, released the following statement today in response to Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance voting to reduce the governor’s proposed clean water initiatives in the state budget by tens of millions of dollars:
“From Milwaukee to Marinette and Kewaunee County to Lafayette County, people across Wisconsin are unable to drink water from their taps due to widespread contamination. I’m extremely dismayed that Republican legislators on the Joint Finance Committee voted to cut Governor Evers’ clean water budget initiatives by about $43 million, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
“These proposals mean the difference between remediating a contaminated well and having to buy bottled water for people across the state. In Wisconsin:
· 33% of private wells tested in Kewaunee County were unsuitable for human consumption due to E. coli, coliform bacteria, or nitrate
· 42% of wells tested in Iowa, Grant, and Lafayette Counties exceeded standards for bacteria or nitrate
· 40% of wells tested in Armenia and Port Edwards in the Central Sands exceeded 10 mg/L of nitrate
· 47% of wells tested in Nelsonville in the Central Sands exceeded 10 mg/L of nitrate
· 5% of Wisconsin kids have high blood lead levels, including 4300 children under the age of 6 tested with high levels of lead.
· The DNR has identified 16 sites contaminated with PFAS, from Madison to Marinette.
“That’s why it’s unconscionable the committee didn’t address our clean water challenges with the urgency and immediacy they deserve. By introducing these initiatives, Governor Evers shows that he both understands the problems at hand and is willing to act to address this crisis. I’m grateful for his leadership and will continue to advocate fiercely for clean water for everyone in Wisconsin.”