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The Latest: Regulators educate task force on water pollution

March 20, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on a legislative task force dealing with water pollution (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

State environmental, agricultural and health officials are starting to teach a legislative water pollution task force about the basics of hydrology in Wisconsin.

Officials with the Departments of Natural Resource, Health Services and Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection gave the task force presentations during the panel’s first meeting Wednesday.

DNR Environmental Management Division Deputy Administrator Jim Zellmer began with a slide-show on hydrologic cycles and contaminants, including pollution from stormwater run-off, phosphorous, nitrates, lead, arsenic and algal blooms.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos formed the task force in January. The committee’s co-chairman, Rep. Todd Novak, said Wednesday that the panel will travel to 11 sites around the state over the summer to learn about local water issues and he hopes to produce a report and offer legislation by fall.

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9 a.m.

A task force that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos formed to study water pollution is set start gathering information.

The panel is slated to hold a listening session Wednesday with the state Department of Natural Resources as well as the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.

The panel has scheduled another listening session April 3. Farmer advocates, including the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, and environmentalists from Clean Wisconsin and Wisconsin Conservation Voters are slated to speak at that meeting.

Vos formed the panel in January after a study showed wells in Iowa, Grant and Lafayette counties exceed federal standards for bacteria originating from animal or human waste or a toxic fertilizer residue.