Under Evers, DNR Restores Science
New groundwater standards and science-based approaches to chemical pollution.
Working together to make sure the water you drink is safe, the Department of Health Services (DHS), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) have reviewed key compounds that can be in Wisconsin’s groundwater and the effects they could have on health. State health officials today provided groundwater quality standards recommendations … for 27 substances to DNR as part of the state’s process to protect public health.
Two per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – human-made chemicals used in many products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain resistant sprays, and firefighting foam – were among the contaminants reviewed.
Here is one media report on the matter by Wisconsin Public Radio:
Deputy DNR Secretary Elizabeth Kluesner said the agency will move as quickly as possible to set new groundwater standards based on the recommendations.
“I also want to point out that today begins a new chapter for returning Wisconsin to being a leader in the field of environmental protection,” Kluesner said. “The DNR has not revised our groundwater standards for 10 years and with these science-based recommendations in hand we will immediately begin rule writing.
This is the very approach Scott Walker intentionally avoided by putting special interests first, ignoring science, degrading public employment and disrespecting the environment and his public trust obligations to protect it. Some of that history is in this series.
Inter-agency coordination should be the template for further Wisconsin clean air and water initiatives to address serious environmental policy failures, including water-sucking and polluting large farms, wetland losses, rampant sprawl, the Back 40 sulfide ore mine, contamination from sand mines, the Kohler golf course planned next to and within Kohler Andrae State Park, and Foxconn – – all of which need honest, comprehensive, science-based and people-first attention.
The Governor can mesh the work of the DNR, WisDOT, public health, DATCP and the AG’s office to make science and the public interest core drivers to ensure both progress and preservation — necessities that were ignored or sold off for nearly a decade.
And the public will have to carefully track the new, multi-agency groundwater initiative and be ready to confront any GOP attempt to foil what people in the state want, voted for and deserve.