Governor Evers’ choice to lead the Wisconsin DNR says the state is committed to improving water quality. That was the message Preston Cole delivered in a visit to Green Bay.
DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole stopped In Green Bay Monday for a tour of NEW Water’s R2E2 facility. A $169 million plant that turns waste water into electricity and fertilizer.
“It’s organizations like NEW Water and their outreach to farmers, organizations and partners, to keep the bay free of toxins,” said Cole.
But the real focus was to promote Governor Tony Evers’ budget proposal and his pledge to clean up the state’s drinking water.
“Communities around Wisconsin aren’t all thriving when it comes to drinking water – however help is on the way,” Cole said.
The governor’s budget includes $70 million for water quality programs and the hiring of five new DNR scientists. Gov. Evers has pledged to remove lead water lines and recently announced setting $2 million aside to help those with contaminated drinking water wells.
“We’re going to heavily invest in that and make sure people have good water to drink and for recreation,” said Evers.
“If we want folks to relocate here, keep them here, we have to protect these environmental concerns we have to protect Wisconsin’s water,” Cole said.
While Evers’ budget must make it through the legislature Cole says he thinks partisan politics can be avoided.
“I think we can all join together and more that ball forward,” said Cole.
But Republican leaders have said they are already starting to draw up their own budget proposal.
Governor Evers says 1.7 million people rely on private wells and nearly 50 percent of them don’t meet health standards.