Leading On Lead
State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt was pleased to see Governor Walker sign the Leading on Lead bill into law last month. Thiesfeldt and Senator Robert Cowles co-authored the legislation. Thiesfeldt says lead from lead laterals leaches into drinking water causing health problems for those who drink it, especially children. He says, “It has a whole array of medical problems that come from it, but the most serious of it is the cognitive disabilities, the learning disabilities it creates in young people in particular. “ The bill provides a funding mechanism for communities to provide financial assistance programs to replace lead service lines providing drinking water to homes. Thiesfeldt says, “I think this bill will do quite a bit in helping that. Because the one thing people struggle with particularly in our urban areas and the center of our urban areas is being able to afford to pay for the replacement of those pipes and that’s what this bill will do is it helps streamline that process.” It is estimated that 113 of Wisconsin’s 578 drinking water utilities still have utility-owned service lines that contain lead.