The Wisconsin State Legislature
For Immediate Release Contact: Rep. Brett Hulsey
May 29, 2012 (608) 266-7521
Rep. Andy Jorgensen
Walker Sewergate Corruption Scandal Update:
Ten Legislators Demand Walker’s DNR Make Polluter
Pay for Private Well Tests to Protect Citizens
Town of Concord, WI—After holding a listening session with citizens and experts last week, ten state Representatives and Senators today wrote to Walker’s DNR leadership demanding they use their emergency powers to force a polluter to test wells where human waste was illegally spread.
“The DNR’s job should first be to test all of the private wells near this major environmental violation,” said Rep. Louis Molepske, ranking Democratic member of the Natural Resources Committee. “They owe that to the citizens with threatened drinking water wells.”
A recent Wisconsin State Journal story reported that Governor Walker’s chief environmental appointees put as many as 40 families at risk of drinking water contaminated with human waste to help a political donor, who spread human waste at three times the allowed levels.
“Governor Walker’s administration is ignoring our drinking water and environmental laws and letting polluters and political donors off with a slap on the wrist. We want to know when people and homeowners are being hurt,” said Rep. Brett Hulsey, member of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and author of “Danger on Tap,” a report about drinking water pollution.
“Studies show human waste carries E. Coli and viruses that can make you sick.”
Herr Environmental had to pay a $240,000 fines in 2010 for breaking laws designed to protect public health and safety. Recently, Walker’s DNR administrators protected them from potential prosecution by blocking professional staff recommendations to refer the case to the Department of Justice and test the drinking water wells where human waste was spread. A copy of the letter to Walker’s DNR Secretary Stepp is below.
“We need to know how many families and wells Gov. Walker’s appointees put at risk by the sewage pollution,” said Rep. Andy Jorgensen, who represents parts of Jefferson County. “We are fighting for them even when Walker is not.”
For more background, see these editorials and opinion pieces on Walker’s Sewergate at:
Recent Wisconsin studies have shown sewage spreading can lead to human viruses and Hepatitis in drinking water and diarrhea for those living near septic tanks. The DNR permitted over 15 million pounds of untreated sewage to spread near the homes in Jefferson County.
This follows on the Wisconsin State Journal story showing a more than 50% decline in environmental health enforcement actions over the last year and a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that showed a major drop in environmental and health inspections.
People can report their pollution problems to Rep.Hulsey@legis.wi.gov and we will try to catalog all the cases where Gov. Walker is failing to protect human health and drinking water.