News 8 Now Exclusive: White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy addresses funding for clean drinking water

Wisconsin to get $841 million over next five years to address drinking water problems

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Relief is coming for Town of Campbell residents who are suffering from unsafe drinking water. News 8 Now spoke to White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy about funding coming to Wisconsin from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package.

Governor Tony Evers proclaimed 2021 as the year of clean drinking water. In Milwaukee, they’re dealing with an infrastructure problem when it comes to lead.

Here in Western Wisconsin PFAS contamination affects hundreds of families on French Island. News 8 Now’s Amy Dupont reported on multiple stories about his problem. She asked McCarthy when these families will get relief.

Amy Dupont: “There are more than 300 families in the town of Campbell that have been drinking bottled water for a year. The EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency) is working, but for those families, it’s been way to slow lower that advisory limit and set standards. When will they get some relief?”

“Well, they’re going to be getting now because the infrastructure bill is actually going to deliver $841 million over the next five years to invest in our water systems,” McCarthy said.

Money for clean water investment will be allocated by the state with $142 million coming to Wisconsin this year. McCarthy said water contamination is a complicated problem, but one the country must address.

“That doesn’t mean we can’t fix it. It means we have to recognize that these resources are essential for our health and our well-being,” McCarthy said. “There is nothing more essential than water.”

News 8 Now asked McCarthy whether the EPA will lower the PFAS non-enforceable health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion to safer levels. McCarthy said the EPA has already indicated they will lower the standard. Officials are also looking to change the advisory standard to a regulatory requirement.