Madison – After serving for the last year on the Speaker’s Task Force on Water, Representative Scott Krug (R-Rome) is pleased to announce that thirteen bills prepared by the Task Force have been passed by the State Assembly.

“Water is critical. I’m proud to be asked to participate in such a critical capacity and I commend Speaker Robin Vos for convening the Task Force on Water Quality,” Rep. Krug said. “I’ve always felt that clean water for Wisconsinites has no political boundaries, and I’m excited that my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, have worked together to improve the quality of our water in Wisconsin.”

Krug authored or co-sponsored most of the bills and worked on several in depth. “I’m probably most pleased with AB 789 and AB 800, which expand the well-testing program and well compensation grant program to address some of the challenges we face in Central Wisconsin regarding nitrates.” Krug authored AB 789 and AB 800 with Rep. Katrina Shankland and Senator Patrick Testin, he thanked the members of the Task Force for their work on the issue.

Krug also noted that he was pleased to author AB 791, pertaining to the state’s grant program for replacement or rehabilitation of private on-site wastewater treatment systems. “I insisted that we make it a high priority to fund replacement of failing septic systems in rural WI,” Krug noted. “We have learned a lot in this area, but we still need to learn more. Back home my home town of Rome was instrumental in driving my interest in this bill. Their findings show that failing septic systems are a major contributor to decreased surface water quality. We probably need to keep telling the tale about the need for better waste handling and septage use as well. AB 791 makes sure we will do that.”

The package addresses water issues that arise from residential, agricultural, and industrial uses. “We are all partners in this effort,” Krug noted. “We all like drinking clean water. We all have a responsibility to do our part. The scope of these bills, and the measures the bills call for, are a great start on addressing our long-term water issues in Wisconsin.”

“I’m very, very pleased to be where we are on this,” Rep. Krug concluded. “I know that our lives and our future in Wisconsin will be improved and protected by the legislation we passed today. This is a great start heading into the next session and the next state budget. ”

“I call on the State Senate to take these bills up, and to pass them. Senator Testin has been an important partner on this and also served on the Water Task Force. He knows the importance of this. I call on the State Senate to help him help all of us, and to concur in the important bills we passed today.”

The bills include:

  • AB 789, Well testing and compensation for remediation and replacement
  • AB 790, County conservation staffing
  • AB 791, Private on-site wastewater treatment system replacement or rehabilitation grant program
  • AB 792, Expanding the Clean Sweep program to include collection of certain fire-fighting foams
  • AB 793, Priorities and criteria for the municipal flood control and riparian restoration program
  • AB 794, Public notice and comment period for certain groundwater standards
  • AB 795, Grants and funding for water stewardship certification, a grazing coordinator position producer-led watershed protection grants, lake protection, soil and water  conservation, and crop insurance premium rebates for cover crops
  • AB 796, Creating a pilot grant program for farmers to reduce nitrate loading, and funding research for nitrate loading reduction methods
  • AB 797, Prohibiting the sale and use of coal tar-based sealants and high PAH sealant products
  • AB 798, Biomanipulation projects to improve the water quality of lakes and impoundments
  • AB 799, Creating an office of water policy
  • AB 800, Supporting the Center for Watershed Science and Education (a partnership between the UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the Division of Extension of the UW-Madison), creating a hydrogeologist position, funding research on phosphorus recovery and reuse, creating grant programs for counties to test wells and provide public education
  • AB 801, Funding a University of Wisconsin System freshwater collaborative
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