The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Thursday approved funding for a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study for the rivers of Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties and the streams that lie in and between the Ahnapee River watershed and the Sauk Creek watershed.

TMDL is a regulatory term in the U.S. Clean Water Act, describing a plan for restoring impaired waters that defines the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards.

“I firmly believe that this study will be part of the long-term solution to the groundwater and surface water contamination issues that our district is facing,” said state Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, who has championed the proposal. “The TMDL Study will take place over four years and be run by the Department of Natural Resources. Once the study is complete, it will provide the farmers and businesses in our area with valuable information they can use for planning and management of their lands and water resources. It will also qualify farmers for federal grants in addressing this problem.”

Kitchens thanked the Conservation Departments in Door County and Kewaunee County for their support for the study, along with other legislators who joined in the motion including state Sen. Frank Lasee. He added thanks to Cathy Pabich and the Friends of Crescent Beach for their role in getting the effort started.

“My biggest thank you must go to the countless constituents who showed up to our public hearings on this,” he said. “Environmentalists, farmers, businessmen and everyday people came and shared their questions and comments. It was especially gratifying to hear the agriculture community express their support and willingness to work toward a solution.”

The funding must still pass both houses of the state Legislature and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker as part of the 2017-19 budget.

further questions about the TMDL Study, please feel free to contact my office.”