MADISON – WMC General Counsel & Director of Environmental and Energy Policy Lucas Vebber went head-to-head with Kerry Schumann of the League of Conservation Voters on the latest episode of Capital City Sunday with Greg Neumann. The topic was replacing lead pipe service lines on homeowners private property. This is the responsibility of the property owner, but new legislation would hike rates on water utility payers to cover the cost of replacing the lines.
Both Schumann and Vebber agreed that lead service lines need to be replaced as soon as possible, but disagreed on the funding source. Vebber argued that municipalities should cover the cost and questioned why they have not taken action yet. For decades, municipalities have received hundreds of millions of dollars from water utility ratepayers in the form of “payments in lieu of taxes.” This money could, and should, have been used to repair lines, but instead just goes to municipalities general budget account.
Annually, municipalities receive about $100 million statewide from water utility ratepayers.
Watch the full interview here: