Washington, DC—This, Rep. Ron Kind, along with Reps. Dan Kildee (MI-05), Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) introduced the Test Your Well Water Act, bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to create an online tool on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website for Americans with a private well to find the resources to test their drinking water and then understand what those results mean.
This tool would promote transparency and streamline EPA resources to help people potentially exposed to toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other contaminants. In the U.S. 43 million people get their drinking water from well water that is currently unregulated from both the federal and state government.
“Communities across rural Wisconsin rely on private wells for their water, but unfortunately far too many Wisconsinites aren’t able to trust the water coming out of their tap due to contaminated or untested wells,” said Rep. Ron Kind “I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to give rural communities the resources they need to protect the health and safety of those who use private wells and give those who use private wells peace of mind.”
Rep. Kind is a cosponsor of H.R. 2577, the PFAS Right to Know Act, which would add PFAS to the TRI Toxic chemicals list and would make it possible to alert communities that are exposed to PFAS so they can take protective action. He also is a cosponsor of H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act, which would require the EPA to designate all PFAS substances as hazardous because they pose serious risks to human health and the environment.
Over 47 million people in the United States rely on a private well for clean drinking water. Nearly 900,000 households rely on private wells in Wisconsin.
A 2018 study found that 42 percent of private wells in southwestern Wisconsin had unsafe contamination levels. An earlier statewide study published by the Journal of Environmental Health found that nearly half of private wells tested statewide contained water deemed unsafe to drink, containing high levels of iron, bacteria, nitrates, and other heavy metals or chemicals.