June 21, 2017

Contact: Sen. Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Cowles/Kitchens Bill Provides Hope for Access to Clean Water

MADISON- Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released this statement on the Assembly passing 2017 Assembly Bill 226, named the Clean Water Access Bill, during regular session today:

“Access to clean drinking water is vital to human health, and today’s action by the Assembly on the Clean Water Access Bill (AB 226) provides hope to those residents who do not have it. With the help of years of independent research, we have learned that the root cause of groundwater pollution in Kewaunee County results from a number of causes, including failing septic tanks and manure runoff. The Clean Water Access Bill is not a silver bullet, but assistance in replacing failing septic tanks and contaminated wells is a step forward for the residents of Northeast Wisconsin. Thank you to the bill’s co-author, Representative Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), for his hard work to bring this bill to the floor. I hope to see Senate leadership bring up this important issue during our next regular floor session.”

2017 Assembly Bill 226 increases the grant amount that may be awarded under an existing state program for rehabilitating or replacing contaminated wells. The bill also provides authority for local governments to provide low-interest or interest-free loans to the owners of contaminated wells or failing septic systems. The passage of Assembly Bill 226 will complement the DNR’s revisions on Administrative Rule NR 151 in addressing the underlying problem of water contamination in Northeast Wisconsin. Assembly Bill 226 is supported by local governments, farmers, and conservation groups.