Amber Meyer Smith, Clean Wisconsin’s Vice President of Government Relations, made the following statement on Governor Evers’ proposal to spend $75,000 for the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology (SWIGG) study and increase funding for the Well Compensation Grant Program:
“Clean drinking water for everyone in our state means making sure families living with contaminated water are helped immediately. It means having water protections in place to prevent future pollution, and it means making an investment in adequate resources for those whose job it is to protect our water. The provisions announced today by Governor Evers underscore that framework and highlight a vision for how we live up to his commitment to make 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water.
“We continue to learn more about the scope of well water pollution through initiatives like the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology (SWIGG) study, and the results are alarming. The first samples show 42% of wells in Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties are contaminated with nitrates and/or bacteria, higher than in Kewanee County. For years, Clean Wisconsin has urged the state to take action in Southwest Wisconsin, and when the state ignored our requests, we encouraged the counties to take an active role in protecting their residents’ drinking water. We’re thrilled to see the state also step up to match the commitments local governments have already made to the SWIGG study.
“The additional $2 million for the Well Compensation Grant Program will go a long way toward helping those with polluted wells get access to clean drinking water. Too many people cannot drink water from their own private well due to harmful pollution from nitrates and bacteria. We applaud this commitment by Governor Evers to provide more funding and increase accessibility to ensure people can drink the water coming from their tap.”