The Kewaunee County Land & Water Committee plans to consider a resolution for the full County Board asking the state Senate to convene in extraordinary session to pass 13 water quality bills that cleared the state Assembly in February.
The bills, which were introduced through the 2019 Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality, were passed Feb. 18, many of them on unanimous, but never were considered by the Senate after its March 24 session was postponed because of Gov. Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” shelter-in-place order.
The committee will review the resolution during its regular monthly meeting, which convenes at 8:15 a.m. Oct. 13 at the fairgrounds Exhibition Building, 624 Third St., Luxemburg. The County Board is scheduled to meet Oct. 20.
The 13 bills are currently listed as “adversely disposed of” because the Senate took no action on them before the end of the last general business floor period, which was adjourned on March 26. They would need to be re-introduced during the next legislative session starting in January:
AB 789 – increases by $1 million per year the amount appropriated for the DNR’s well compensation grant program, which partially offsets the cost of replacing, reconstructing, or treating eligible contaminated wells.
AB 790 – increases state funding for county conservation staffing by $2.961 million for fiscal year 2020-21.
AB 791 – administers a grant system to partially offset the cost of replacing or rehabilitating eligible failing private on-site wastewater treatment systems.
AB 792 – expands the clean sweep program to include collection of fire fighting foams that contain perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and that are voluntarily surrendered.
AB793 – revises language in the state administrative code to allow for funding of a broader distribution of project types within the Municipal Flood Control Grant Program.
AB794 – requires the DNR to provide public notice of its list of substances that it considers threats to groundwater, including by publishing such a list on its Internet site, and include notice of the information and reasoning it used in compiling the list. The Department of Health Services must also provide 21-day public comment periods for comments on the substances included on the list and for recommended enforcement standards before submitting the recommendation to the DNR.
AB 795 – provides funding for a full-time equivalent position in the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to serve as a coordinator for managed grazing initiatives.
AB 796 – creates a nitrogen optimization pilot program through the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, under which DATCP awards grants to farmers of up to $50,000 to implement a project, for at least two growing seasons, that reduces nitrate loading or that uses nitrogen at an optimal rate while protecting water quality.
AB 797 – prohibits the sale of coal tar-based sealant products and high PAH sealant products (products with more than 0.1 percent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by weight) beginning Jan. 1, 2021, and prohibits the use of such products beginning July 1, 2021.
AB 798 – creates a DNR program that provides grants to local water improvement groups to conduct projects using biomanipulation to improve the water quality of lakes and impoundments.
AB 799 – creates an Office of Water Policy attached to the University of Wisconsin System to coordinate efforts to manage, conserve, protect, and enhance the productivity of the state’s water resources for domestic, municipal, commercial, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and other private and public uses.
AB 800 – provides three years of funding to the University of Wisconsin System to support the operations of the Center for Watershed Science and Education, a partnership between the UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the Division of Extension of the UW-Madison. The operations supported must include expanding outreach to private well owners, developing and maintaining a database on private well water quality, and updating the center’s online mapping tools.
AB 801 – funds a freshwater collaborative among no more than six UW institutions to 1) study the challenge of water quality management, including a focus on nutrient runoff, farm policy impacts, and other issues; and 2) study the challenge of water quality and safety, including a focus on treatment, contamination, and other issues.