Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.

Dial 1-800-GOP-WISC to Report Infected, Poisoned or Otherwise Unsafe Drinking Water

Republicans in Wisconsin have ignored 21 Democratic amendments and passed a bill that removes the requirement for municipalities to disinfect drinking water. The argument in favor of the bill is that communities should “make their own choice on this,” according to the bill’s author Eric Severson (R-Star Prairie). Here’s a chunk of the blurb:

The Assembly has passed AB 23, which would, unless mandated by federal law, end a DNR requirement that municipal water systems be continuously disinfected.

The bill passed 58-35. Lawmakers backed an amendment by bill author Eric Severson, R-Star Prairie, before turning away 21 Dem amendments.

Dems charged that the law meant the state was walking away from its commitment to provide clean drinking water to the public, listing a wide range of potential water-borne illnesses they said could result from reducing water standards.

AB 23 is the latest in a series of Right Wing rollbacks that strip Wisconsinites of the previous administration’s gains. Scott Walker destroyed Governor Doyle’s energy plans and refused over $800 million in high-speed rail funding before he had so much as changed the name plate on the Governor’s Office door. AB 23 is no different, according to Clean Wisconsin, which issued an action alert to address the dirty water politics:

Last year, Wisconsin raised the bar, setting a rule requiring all municipalities to disinfect their drinking water. Unfortunately, legislators are set to vote on a bill soon that would undo that rule, citing cost concerns. As we frequently see in these matters, the concerns about cost are overblown and the risk to human health is downplayed.

And just how serious is the human health risk? The Conservation Now Facebook page notes that “Viruses and pollution in drinking water can threaten public health, such as the cryptosporidium outbreak that made 400,000 people in Milwaukee sick in 1993.”



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