2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
January 24, 2020 - Introduced by Representatives Shankland, Krug, Felzkowski,
Pope, Hebl, Kitchens, Kurtz, Novak, Summerfield, Anderson, Ballweg,
Billings, Cabrera, Considine, Dittrich, Doyle, Edming, Emerson,
Gruszynski, Horlacher, Kolste, Kulp, Loudenbeck, B. Meyers, Milroy,
Mursau, Neubauer, Nygren, Ohnstad, Sinicki, Skowronski, Spreitzer,
Stubbs, Subeck, Swearingen, C. Taylor, Thiesfeldt, Tranel, Tusler,
VanderMeer, Vruwink, Zamarripa, Zimmerman and Spiros, cosponsored by
Senators Testin, Olsen and Feyen. Referred to Committee on Rural
1An Act to repeal
281.75 (2) (e), 281.75 (9) (a), 281.75 (11) (a) 8. and 281.75 (11) 2
(ae); to renumber and amend
281.75 (5) (f) and 281.75 (9) (b); to amend
281.75 (7) (c) 7. and 281.75 (11m); and to create
20.370 (6) (cb), 281.75 (5) (f) 4
2., 281.75 (7) (d) and 281.75 (9) (am), (bm), (c) and (d) of the statutes; relating
5to: the well compensation grant program and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes changes to the well compensation grant program administered
by the Department of Natural Resources.
Under the program currently, an individual owner or renter of a contaminated
private well, subject to eligibility requirements, may apply for a grant from DNR to
cover a portion of the costs to treat the water, reconstruct the well, construct a new
well, connect to a public water supply, or fill and seal the well.
Under current law, a well that is contaminated only by nitrates is eligible for
a grant only if the well is a water supply for livestock, is used at least three months
in each year, and contains nitrates in excess of 40 parts per million. The bill
eliminates these restrictions, making wells contaminated only by nitrates eligible for
the program more generally.
Current law requires DNR to allocate money for payments of claims under the
program according to order in which claims are received. The bill retains this
requirement but provides that, among claims for contamination only by nitrates,
DNR must allocate payments according to a specified priority ranking.
The bill also requires DNR to award grants for the remediation method that is
most effective for the health and welfare of the claimant. In addition, the bill provides
that, of the amounts appropriated to DNR for the program, at least $200,000 must
be allocated for claims of water containing nitrates at 10 to 25 parts per million
unless DNR determines there are insufficient claims at that level to expend those
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
20.370 (6) (cb) of the statutes is created to read:
(cb) Environmental aids — compensation for well contamination
5and abandonment; state funds.
As a continuing appropriation, the amounts in the 6
schedule to pay compensation under s. 281.75. Of the amounts in the schedule for 7
each fiscal year, not less than $200,000 shall be allocated for claims of water 8
containing nitrates at 10 to 25 parts per million under s. 281.75 (9) (d) unless the 9
department determines there are insufficient claims at that level to expend those 10
281.75 (2) (e) of the statutes is repealed.
281.75 (5) (f) of the statutes is renumbered 281.75 (5) (f) 1. and 2
amended to read:
(f) 1. The Subject to subd. 2., the
department shall allocate money 4
for the payment of claims according to the order in which completed claims are 5
received. The department may conditionally approve a completed claim even if the 6
appropriation under s. 20.370 (6) (cb) or
(cr) is insufficient to pay the claim. The 7
department shall allocate money for the payment of a claim which is conditionally 8
approved as soon as funds become available.
281.75 (5) (f) 2. of the statutes is created to read:
(f) 2. For claims of contamination by nitrates and not by any other 11
substance, the department shall allocate money for the payment of those collective 12
claims as provided under subd. 1. but shall allocate money for the payment of 13
individual claims according to the priority order established under sub. (9). The 14
department shall determine the method for allocating money for the payment of 15
those claims in the manner that most effectively accomplishes the requirements of 16
this paragraph and sub. (9).
281.75 (7) (c) 7. of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) 7. If the claim is based on a contaminated
water supply that is
19eligible under sub. (11) (ae) contaminated by bacteria
, the cost of properly 20
abandoning any improperly abandoned private water supply located on the property 21
owned or leased by the claimant.
281.75 (7) (d) of the statutes is created to read:
(d) The department may issue an award only for the eligible cost 24
under this subsection that the department determines is the remediation method 25
that is most effective for the health and welfare of the claimant.
281.75 (9) (a) of the statutes is repealed.
281.75 (9) (am), (bm), (c) and (d) of the statutes are created to read:
(am) Water containing nitrates in excess of 40 parts per million 4
expressed as nitrate-nitrogen.
(bm) Water containing nitrates in excess of 30 parts per million expressed as 6
(c) Water containing nitrates in excess of 25 parts per million expressed as 8
(d) Water containing nitrates at no fewer than 10 parts per million and not in 10
excess of 25 parts per million expressed as nitrate-nitrogen. Notwithstanding sub. 11
(11) (b) 2., for awards under this paragraph, the department shall emphasize the use 12
of reverse osmosis or similar methods prior to well remediation methods if the 13
department determines these methods are the most effective option for the health 14
and welfare of the claimant.
281.75 (9) (b) of the statutes is renumbered 281.75 (9) (intro.) and 16
amended to read:
281.75 (9) Contamination standard; nitrates.
(intro.) Notwithstanding the 18
requirement of contamination under sub. (7), if a private water supply meets the
19criteria under par. (a) and the claim is for claims
based upon contamination by 20
nitrates and not by any other substance, the department may make an award only
21if the private water supply produces water containing nitrates in excess of 40 parts
22per million expressed as nitrate-nitrogen. shall make awards in the following order
281.75 (11) (a) 8. of the statutes is repealed.
281.75 (11) (ae) of the statutes is repealed.
281.75 (11m) of the statutes is amended to read:
281.75 (11m) Abandonment of certain private water supplies.
If the 3
department determines that there is an improperly abandoned private water supply 4
located on property owned or leased by a claimant with a contaminated
private water 5
supply that is eligible under sub. (11) (ae)
contaminated by bacteria
, the department 6
may issue an award only if the claimant properly abandons the improperly 7
abandoned private water supply.
The authorized FTE positions for the department 10
of natural resources, funded from the appropriation under s. 20.370 (6) (cb), are 11
increased by 1.0 GPR position for the purpose of creating a well compensation grant 12
program administrator position within the department of natural resources.