Clean Wisconsin urges action on drinking water in Water Quality Task Force testimony

, By Jon Drewsen

Clean Wisconsin’s Water Program Director Scott Laeser urged the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality to commit to taking action on issues ranging from lead pipes to PFAS contamination in testimony on Wednesday.

“Every Wisconsin family deserves the right to clean drinking water, and with the formation of this committee, people will be expecting decisive action and measurable results,” said Laeser. “We have to start making sure all Wisconsin families have access to clean drinking water, preventing the pollution that makes water undrinkable, and prioritizing research and providing resources for local and state governments to fix these problems.”

Having worked on drinking water pollution issues for nearly 50 years, Clean Wisconsin as an organization has seen how damaging to public health unsafe drinking water can be for residents, kids, and families. Laeser noted that the problems of lead and nitrate pollution are widespread because of past inaction by the state and emphasized that Wisconsinites cannot wait any longer for solutions.

“With each day that passes without solutions, thousands of families around this state cannot drink their own water,” Laeser said. “Citizens want to know what’s in their water and how it might impact their health, they want help getting access to clean drinking water if they don’t have it, and they want Wisconsin’s water pollution cleaned up.”

Laeser stressed that with 2019 being declared the Year of Clean Drinking Water, Governor Tony Evers’ budget proposal addresses lead, nitrates, and PFAS issues, and that working in a bipartisan manner towards solutions should be a top legislative priority.

“Adopting Gov. Evers’ proposals should be the beginning of serious bipartisan policy efforts to tackle Wisconsin’s numerous water quality challenges,” Laeser said.

Laeser emphasized that with the rise in water issues around the state, people are fed up and looking to the state for solutions.

“People are paying attention, but we must do more than talk about water pollution issues,” Laeser said. “We must start acting boldly to fix it.”