Shankland named Vice Chair of Water Quality Task Force


MADISON, WI (WSAU) -- One day after she introduced a bill focused on helping rural residents gain access to clean water, State Representative Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point has been named the Vice Chair of the sate's new Water Quality Task Force.

The task force will travel across the state to investigate the sources of groundwater and surface water contamination, hear from concerned stakeholders, and identify best practices for maintaining the health of Wisconsin’s water supply. Once their mission is complete, the task force will submit their findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the Assembly for reference in future legislative actions.

During a news conference on Monday to announce her proposal to provide more state funding for residents with dirty wells, Shankland says she hopes to create dialogs with all stakeholders, including farmers, who could be impacted by regulations or changes to their practices. "I don't want this to be about an 'us versus them,' we need to bring everyone to the table and work together."

Shankland adds in many cases the farmers could benefit by getting new wells, allowing them to use their tap water instead of buying bottled water.

Shankland released a statement Tuesday saying “It is an honor to be selected as Vice-Chair of the Water Quality Task Force, and I thank Speaker Vos and Minority Leader Hintz for their confidence in me. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with my colleagues to find meaningful science-based solutions to the water quality issues affecting people throughout Wisconsin.”

Shankland's bill was formally introduced on Monday, she says once it is assigned to a committee there will be public hearings scheduled.