Madison–State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance released the following statement:
“Today I was honored to join Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler as he announced plans to remove the Lower Menominee River as an Area of Concern (AOC),” said Rep.
Nygren. “This announcement is a big step forward in efforts to clean-up and preserve the Menominee River.”
Rep. Nygren joined Administrator Wheeler for tours of the Menominee River Dam and the WPSC Coal Tar Site. Both tours highlighted efforts to clean up contamination along the Menominee River and improve wildlife and habitat sites.
“During Administrator Wheeler’s visit to Marinette, I also urged federal action to address PFAS contamination,” said Rep. Nygren. “State regulators have highlighted the need for federal standards, which will improve remedial efforts in Marinette and across the state. In the absence of federal standards to regulate PFAS, and at my urging, the Department of Natural Resources has begun the process of setting state standards. Even with state standards, we need more assistance from the federal government to address these emerging contaminants.”
“The proposed Back 40 mine on the Menominee River in Michigan was also a topic of discussion this morning,” said Rep. Nygren. “Since EPA has delegated regulatory authority to the state of Michigan, Wisconsin has no say in the proposed mine’s permitting process, despite the Menominee River being a shared waterway. I renewed my request that EPA give Wisconsin a seat at the table during the permitting process so that Wisconsin can ensure the Menominee River is adequately protected.”
Rep. Nygren hand-delivered a letter detailing the need for federal assistance on these two topics. A copy of the letter is attached.
“I’d like to thank Administrator Wheeler for taking the time to visit Marinette and see firsthand what makes living in northeast Wisconsin so appealing,” said Rep. Nygren. “We have a lot to be proud of in northeast Wisconsin and I look forward to continuing to work with the EPA to protect our natural resources.”