Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
Press Release

Fight for Lead-Free Water Intensifies

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Urges Support of ‘Leading on Lead’ Bill

By - Apr 18th, 2017 09:25 am
Lead from corroded pipes in Flint, Michigan, is partially to blame for a public health crisis in the impoverished community. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has failed to update lead testing guidance in the wake of the Flint crisis. Photo courtesy of Siddhartha Roy of FlintWaterStudy.org.

Lead from corroded pipes in Flint, Michigan, is partially to blame for a public health crisis in the impoverished community. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has failed to update lead testing guidance in the wake of the Flint crisis. Photo courtesy of Siddhartha Roy of FlintWaterStudy.org.

MADISON – Today, the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities is holding a public hearing for Assembly Bill 78, the “Leading on Lead” bill, a proposal aimed at making it easier for communities to replace lead water pipes.

One of the state’s most pro-polluter entities – Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) – recently went public with its opposition to the bill. That decision indicates a lack of understanding of the bill itself as well as a frightening miscalculation of the magnitude of the lead poisoning crisis in Wisconsin.

In reality, the bill would give communities better resources to replace lead pipes that supply water to homes – one of the factors that left more than 200,000 kids in Wisconsin with lead poisoning from 1996 to 2014.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Kerry Schumann issued this statement ahead of the hearing:

“Assembly Bill 78 is crucial for combating Wisconsin’s lead poisoning crisis. Unfortunately, it is facing challenges from misguided and uninformed organizations such as Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Despite bipartisan support for AB 78, the ‘Leading on Lead’ bill, WMC says they’re concerned it might cost big industrial water users some extra money – it wouldn’t – indicating they care more about big business than protecting Wisconsin’s children from permanent brain damage that results in reduced IQs, learning dysfunction, even violent behavior. Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters urges all legislators to support AB 78.”

The hearing takes place at 12:01 p.m. Room 225 Northwest at the State Capitol.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources. 

You can follow legislation impacting natural resources on our Conservation Vote Tracker, a real-time accountability tool that provides you with a complete picture of what conservation issues are in play and how legislators are performing: http://conservationvoters.org/vote-tracker/.

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One thought on “Fight for Lead-Free Water Intensifies”

  1. Deal Lade says:

    I support this bill but am disappointed by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters blatant lie in its press release: “WMC says they’re concerned it might cost big industrial water users some extra money – it wouldn’t .” The language of the bill says EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE: “If a water public utility provides financial assistance under this paragraph, the commission shall include in the determination of water rates the cost of providing that financial assistance.”

    I expect better than this from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

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