At the first Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force, Rep. Tranel, R-51st District, asserted that “the sky is not falling.” The clear message was – no big deal here. He seemed to imply that if the 42% contaminated wells from the preliminary testing in South West Wisconsin ended up being only 30% that was good news, no crisis here.

Republicans are listening only to their corporate donors instead of to the citizens whose waterways are polluted and wells are contaminated. The intention appears to be to protect the polluters. CAFOs are given a pass by postponing a vote on increasing the permit fees for CAFOs which would help pay for pollution enforcement. Only partial approval is given to restore five of the 18 DNR scientist positions cut by Republicans in 2015 and Rep. Nygren is exploring moving the regulation of CAFOs from the DNR to Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection – which has no authority to enforce water pollution laws.

We deserve better than this. We need to demand better than this from our legislators. The second Public Hearing will be held at 1 p.m. June 12 at the Mauston High School Auditorium.

Carol Waser, Reedsburg

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