Saturday , 18 November 2017

May 3, 2017 E-News

BILL LOOSENING REGULATIONS OF HIGH-CAPACITY WELLS HEADED TO GOV. SCOTT WALKER’S DESK – Changes for high-capacity wells in Wisconsin are headed to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk. The state Assembly approved a plan Tuesday night that would loosen regulations on how high-capacity wells could be repaired, reconstructed or transferred to a new owner. It was the last legislative vote in a years-long battle over the proposed changes.  The bill, which carried over from the Senate, was one of the Assembly’s last orders of business Tuesday after a seven-hour session. It passed along party lines, 62-35, with one member abstaining. The Senate passed the bill last month. It would allow those who currently hold approvals for high-capacity wells to repair or reconstruct them and transfer the approval for the well to someone else — without prior review from the state Department of Natural Resources. It would also allow a well owner to build a replacement well without DNR review.

WHO SHOULD FOOT THE BILL TO REPLACE WISCONSIN’S LEAD PIPES? – There’s no question that lead in Wisconsin water is a major problem. “I hate to break it to you, but it is almost as bad as Flint,” said Kerry Schumann, of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, on Sunday’s installment of “Capital City Sunday.” “We have a huge problem, and it’s all across the state.” The question is who should pay for the solution: local water utilities or cities?  In a rare show of unity, 55 bipartisan cosponsors and a healthy amount of lobbying organizations joined in support of a new bill that aims to tackle the lead pipe crisis by passing the cost along to local water utilities. But Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) is lobbying against the bill, arguing that the cost of the solution should fall to cities, who they say could have started solving the problems years ago.

EPA’S OFFICE OF WATER SEEKING FEEDBACK ON REDUCING REGULATORY BURDEN – EPA is seeking public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome. The docket will be open for submitting recommendations until May 15, 2017. For those wishing to submit recommendations online, visit Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190 at Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from To allow EPA to more effectively evaluate your suggestions, the Agency is requesting comments include: Supporting data or other information such as cost information, provide a Federal Register (FR) or Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) citation when referencing a specific regulation and provide specific suggestions regarding repeal, replacement, or modification. For more information, please visit: for details.

FARMS’ THIRST FOR WATER ROILS WISCONSIN’S CENTRAL SANDS – Cris Van Houten thought he was getting a little bit of paradise when he built his house on Huron Lake in Wisconsin’s central sands region. He could look out from his deck at the blue water and scuba dive in the shallows. Less than 10 years later, he and his neighbors are watching their beloved lake dry up. The shoreline has receded at least 20 feet, leaving Van Houten with a new beach he never wanted, his dock high and dry, and scuba diving impossible. Like other lake property owners, Van Houten blames the high-capacity water wells serving agriculture, particularly potato farmers. As the number of wells grows, Wisconsin finds itself in an unexpected fight. Despite being bordered on three sides by Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River and cross-hatched with innumerable rivers, streams and lakes, the state no longer can take water for granted. “We’re all pretty sick of what’s going on here,” Van Houten, 73, said. “We’re losing our lake to make junk food.”

AG PICK SEEKS TO REASSURE CONGRESS AS TRUMP EYES FARM CUTS– Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue on March 23 sought to reassure farm-state senators in both parties who are fearful about the impact of President Donald Trump’s proposed deep cuts to farm programs, promising to promote agricultural trade and create jobs in the struggling industry. At his confirmation hearing, the former Georgia governor stressed bipartisanship, reaching out to Democrats who have complained about Trump’s lack of experience in agriculture and his proposed 21 percent cut to the farm budget. “In Georgia, agriculture is one area where Democrats and Republicans consistently reached across the aisle and work together,” Perdue said. He told Republican and Democratic senators concerned about Trump’s trade agenda that “trade is really the answer” for farmers dealing with low crop prices and said he would be a “tenacious advocate and fighter” for rural America when dealing with the White House and other agencies.

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT AND UTILITY DAY IN MADISON – All Wisconsin city & village officials and staff are invited to participate in a half day of advocacy and networking in Madison on May 10. The League of Wisconsin Municipalities is teaming up this year with several other municipal organizations, including Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Rural Water Association, MEG — Water, and MEG — Wastewater for the first ever Municipal Government and Utility Day at the state capitol. The focus of the day will be on the critical role that municipal infrastructure plays in growing the state’s economy. There is no cost for municipal officials and staff to attend the luncheon or to participate in any aspect of the Municipal Government and Utility Day at the State Capitol. For more information and to register go to

21st ANNUAL WRWA GOLF OUTING– This event will be held on May 17, 2017 at the Foxfire golf course in Waupaca. Proceeds from the golf outing are used to provide scholarships to those pursuing careers in the water & wastewater industries. To register, or for information on becoming a hole-sponsor, go to

QUOTE– “A man who correctly guesses a woman’s age may be smart, but he’s not very bright.”- Lucille Ball

“This week’s issue of the Rural Water E-News is sponsored by the following WRWA Corporate Gold Members and Businesses:”



“For information on WRWA Corporate Gold member benefits and other advertising opportunities, contact Renee at”

David Lawrence
WRWA Executive Director
(715) 344-7778

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