Shutdown prevents groundwater contamination presentation

Published: Jan. 8, 2019 at 4:57 PM CST
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The partial government shutdown continues to impact other industries including land and water conservation efforts in Kewaunee County.

People in Kewaunee County have been waiting more than a year for results of a project meant to give them answers to the current state of the well water supply.

“That's important information for both the health and safety of the citizens that live here so we were really looking forward to finally hearing that final report,” said Nancy Utesch, a Kewaunee County resident.

The partial government shutdown prevented Doctor Mark Borchardt, a microbiologist with the U.S Department of Agriculture, from making his presentation.

“There's not much you can do, the government shutdown prevented him from working, and what he told us is he would be subjecting himself to a 2-year imprisonment and a $5,000 fine, if he would have come over here to explain that survey,” said Chuck Wagner, Chairman of the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department.

Wagner said the county still has a long way to go in cleaning up contaminated ground water in Kewaunee County, but some people who live in the area are still frustrated and not getting answers Tuesday was a disappointment.

“We're not going to let this go, this isn't going away, it's getting bigger and like I said there's more people calling us all the time, you don't have a problem, walk across my land, take my samples, I’m tired of it, I’m sick of it, farming can fix it,” said Dick Swanson, an Algoma resident.

If the government reopens in time for the expected February meeting, Doctor Borchardt will be able to make his presentation.

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