Corporations Ok’d to Contaminate, Taxpayers Billed

Picture of Governor Scott Walker

The Department of Health Services (DHS) Wisconsin through its Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (July 2017) warned the public and officials of the growing water contamination epidemic plaguing the state. In Wisconsin two of every five households have private wells to meet their water needs. In the state, well water owners are responsible for testing, maintenance, cleanup and identifying hazardous contamination if present. If hazardous materials are found, homeowners are faced with the prospect of doing nothing or facing a large decontamination bill from contractors.

In notification brochures distributed to the public, officials communicated there concern for the increasing levels of contaminants such as Molybdenum, Aluminum, Strontium, Arsenic, Bacteria, Sodium, Nitrates and more in the publics drinking water sources. The Rock County Health Department (RCHD) sought additional funding from the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program after identifying locations with heightened levels of Nitrates and other carcinogenic chemicals. Armed with additional funding, RCHD set out to determine the sourcing of the chemical contamination in specific locations.

RCHD found the contamination was caused by locations such as industrial waste sites, municipal waste sites, commercial irrigation systems, commercial crop chemical systems, manure chemical runoff and more. Essentially, RCHD found the contamination to originate in small part from the natural environment in Wisconsin but in large part from big business commercial operations in the state. After detecting sourcing for the chemicals DHS sought to make the situation better presenting the public with guidelines to overcome their individual water contamination problems.

The 1st suggestion called for the public to boil their water before use. 2nd encourages the public to test their water more often, 3rd encourages the public to use rain gardens & bio retention systems, 4th suggests the public match nutrients to crop needs and 5th RCHD recommends the implementation of multicomponent groundwater management systems. However, nowhere in its written direction does RCHD hold corporate polluters accountable nor name them as part of the cleanup effort. Allegedly Governor Scott Walker said over the past two decades citizens have gained a 1% pay raise, they should be able to handle the expenses, if not we’ll lock them up for polluting.

 

More can be found at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p01830.pdf and at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p01795h.pdf and at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p0/p00150.pdf and at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p4/p00292.pdf and at https://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/watershed/Pages/WellWaterViewer.aspx