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Gov: We're Focusing on 'Science-based' Groundwater Solutions
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/18/2016

Governor Scott Walker says the state and federal government will be taking a scienced-based approach when looking at ways to protect groundwater from industrial and agricultural contamination. In an interview with the Green Bay Press Gazette, the governor indicated that the Department of Natural Resources has recently concluded its workgroups in Door and Kewaunee Counties to address groundwater issues. He noted that the agency would also be reviewing the workgroup's recommendations and sharing them with the Environmental Protection Agency and local officials to put together a comprehensive plan.

"We want to make sure that people have clean, safe water," Walker told the newspaper, adding that the recent studies would determine whether most of the contamination was being caused by agricultural runoff or other pollutants.

The DNR contacted farmers in the area last spring before sitting down with the EPA and environmental groups to evaluate groundwater problems in eastern Wisconsin. That was after several agencies requested that the state use its emergency powers to address alleged violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Many residents in the area blame large dairy farms for causing elevated levels of nitrates in the water.

Walker told the newspaper that the dairy industry was an important economic driver for the state and that the government is working with Kewaunee County to find a good compromise so that the water supply remains safe while helping area farms find ways to dispose of its animal wastes.

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