May 21, 2020

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

PSC Approves Green Bay Water’s Lead Removal Plan 

GREEN BAY– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) unanimously approved a Lead Service Line Replacement Program plan for the Green Bay Water Utility. This program is made possible through 2017 Act 137, known as the Leading on Lead Act, authored by Senator Cowles and Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac):

“As public health continues to be on the minds of Wisconsinites, a positive step was made today to address the issue of lead poisoning in Green Bay residents. The plan approved by the PSC isn’t Green Bay’s first effort to address lead-laden water, but today’s action lays a path to finish ridding their water infrastructure of lead service lines. This plan doesn’t just help residents with lead laterals, but the entire community will benefit as public health improves, creating long-term economic savings, and Utility costs decrease as anti-corrosive materials become less necessary and newer infrastructure reduces the risk of leaks or failures.

“I applaud the PSC Commissioners for their approval of this plan, and I want to thank the dedicated men and women at Green Bay Water Utility, led by Nancy Quirk, for their continued efforts to provide clean, drinkable water to everyone in their service area.”

The Leading on Lead Act provides an innovative funding mechanism to address the problem of lead-laden water by allowing municipal governments to pass an ordinance to ask the PSC for the authority to use ratepayer dollars for a low or no-interest loan or an up to 50% grant for private property owners to replace their lead service lines. Green Bay joins Kenosha, Manitowoc, and Menasha as communities with approved Lead Service Line Replacement Program plans as four other communities have active dockets seeking approval of plans, including Fond du Lac, Kaukauna, Sheboygan, and Sun Prairie.

“Green Bay Water has provided the latest example of how locally-driven and locally-funded efforts under the Leading on Lead Act can be prepared and approved. Kaukauna, also in the 2nd Senate District, and other communities should soon see their plans approved, and it’s my hope that the other 100-plus water utilities in Wisconsin with lead in their service territory follow the path that’s been created by the communities before them and address lead-laden water in communities of all sizes.”