The following is from DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole:
I wanted you to know that DNR is pleased to report that we continue to make progress on advancing the Governor’s “Year of Clean Drinking Water” initiatives and returning Wisconsin to being a leader in the field of environmental protection. This morning, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) provided DNR and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) with recommended standards for 27 groundwater contaminants (ch. NR 140 compounds). These recommendations are intended to protect human health and the environment, as part of Wisconsin’s landmark groundwater law, Chapter 160, Wisconsin Statutes. Included in this package are recommended standards for glysophate, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).
State law outlines a process that DHS and DNR follow, ensuring a scientifically rigorous review of available technical information and clarifies how DHS’s recommended groundwater standards are selected. With the new DHS recommendations in hand, DNR will begin rulemaking immediately. However, given the multiple steps in the rule making process it may take up to 30 months to promulgate the amendments to ch. NR 140. Please note, this is the first time in 10 years that the DNR will be proposing new or revised groundwater standards.
After the rulemaking process is completed, the new or revised standards will be added to the 138 existing NR 140 groundwater quality standards. These standards are used at facilities, practices and activities regulated by the state that can affect groundwater. These activities include: contamination site cleanup, authorized discharges of treated liquid and solid waste, use of approved agricultural chemicals, regulation of solid waste landfills and beneficial use of industrial byproducts. NR 140 groundwater quality standards also apply to bottled drinking water in Wisconsin, and they are used to determine eligibility for the private water supply Well Compensation Grant Program.
You can find more information on ch. NR 140 and the new recommendations at: NR 140 groundwater quality standards update.