Wisconsin’s Green Fire supports two new bills to reduce agricultural pollution

WI Green Fire, March 27, 2023

Image by David Mark from Pixabay.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay.

Wisconsin’s Green Fire registered in support of Senate Bill 58 and Senate Bill 59 at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on March 15th.

Both bills were originally part of the much larger Speaker’s Task Force package of 13 bills that failed to pass the Senate two years ago. We hope they have a better chance of passing this session.

“These bills aren’t just bipartisan, they also have “buy-in” from both the agricultural community and the environmental community,” says Representative Joel Kitchens, the Assembly co-author of the bills, “most importantly, these bills will help protect our state’s water from excessive nitrates and other contaminants.” 

Senate Bill 58 will expand eligibility for the well compensation grant program by removing the requirement that an eligible well must be contaminated by livestock. Remediation grants must focus on the method that is most effective for the health and welfare of the well owner.

Senate Bill 59  builds on a successful program by expanding eligibility for watershed, lake, and river protection grants for producer-led groups. Currently, only producer-led groups made of farmers in a single watershed are eligible for grants. This bill expands eligibility to farmers in adjacent watersheds. Producer-led watershed groups allow farmers to share information and try innovative practices that allow them to remain profitable while protecting Wisconsin’s waters.

Legislation like this has the potential to bring both sides of the aisle together to protect Wisconsin’s waters. Want to keep track of the status of these and other environmental bills during this year’s Legislative Session? Check out our WGF State Legislation Tracker page for the status and updates on the bills that WGF is following.

Questions? Contact WGF Policy Director Paul Heinen at pheinen@wigreenfire.org.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new articles by email.