Water Quality Task Force Meets in Mauston & La Crosse

The Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality convened for two more meetings this week in Mauston and La Crosse.

In La Crosse on June 13, the task force first heard from the Wisconsin Rural Water Association (WRWA). Overall, WRWA emphasized that the task force should recognize that water issues and regulations affect small rural systems uniquely, and the state should consider providing funding mechanisms for any additional regulatory costs.

Related to PFAS, WRWA recommended the task force wait for the Department of Health Services and Department of Natural Resources to come up with health standards for the chemicals. WRWA noted the task force and legislature should ensure any regulations they put in place don’t put an undue burden on small rural utilities. WRWA also updated the task force on a pending rewrite of Public Service Commission regulations related to water utilities, implementation of lead pipe removal financial assistance legislation passed last session, and how phosphorus standards are affecting small utilities.

The La Crosse meeting was still ongoing at the time of this writing. The task force was also scheduled to also hear from Minnesota’s County Geologic Atlas Mapping Program, Midwest Environmental Advocates, La Crosse County conservation and environmental officials, and Carbon Cycle Consulting LLC.

In Mauston on June 12, the task force heard from Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin Association of Professional Agricultural Consultants, conservationists and health officials from Juneau, Sauk and Wood County, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, and Petenwell and Castle Rock Stewards. Following the presentations, the committee heard public testimony.

The task force plans to meet for more public hearings across the state before presenting legislative recommendations in the fall. Previous meetings:

May 29 – Janesville

May 8 – Lancaster

April – Madison

March – Madison