Gov. Tony Evers continued to follow the theme of declaring 2019 as the Year of Clean Drinking Water with a July 31 announcement in Watertown.
Evers said additional efforts to address nitrates in ground and surface water will be taken by the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
“I am committed to protecting Wisconsin’s waters and ensuring every Wisconsinite has access to clean drinking water,” he said. “In the Year of Clean Drinking Water, I’m proud that my cabinet is working with the agricultural and environmental communities to address nitrate contamination.”
The governor directed the DNR to pursue rulemaking through NR 151 to reduce nitrate contamination by establishing targeted nitrate performance standard for soils that are most likely to experience nitrogen contamination.
“No matter where they live, everyone needs clean drinking water,” said DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole. “We are dedicated to working with DATCP to ensure safe, clean water and a healthy natural environment for all Wisconsinites.”
Evers also directed DATCP to work closely with the DNR by continuing to develop the technical standards needed to meet NR 151.
“Many of our farmers are already helping to lead the way on clean water practices in their communities,” said DATCP Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff. “We look forward to connecting the dots with the agricultural community and our partners at the Department of Natural Resources to ensure our farmers have up-to-date standards and tools to help protect our water systems from nitrate contamination.”
The day following the announcement, Evers declared August as National Water Quality Month in Wisconsin.