Sierra Club

RACINE — Several community leaders are scheduled to speak Wednesday at an event on the lakefront about the issue of lead in drinking water.

The event, hosted by the Sierra Club at the Laurel Clark Memorial Fountain, 43 Sixth St., will feature speeches from Mike Kosterman from the City of Racine Water Utility and Sarah Clemons from the Department of Public Health. Melissa Warner, a Sierra Club member and director of Weed Out! Racine, and Gregory Vogel of the Kenosha/Racine Lead-Free Communities Partnership are also scheduled to speak.

Warner said Tuesday that the speeches are to focus on several aspects of the lead problem that Racinians may face.

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“What we want to focus on is older cities having a problem with lead, what Racine is already doing and why it matters,” she said.

According to a release, the speeches will “shine a light” on the issue of lead contamination in drinking water which “plagues the state.” Warner said that the Sierra Club is concerned about a number of water quality issues, but that the lead contamination issue is most relevant to Racine and the surrounding region.

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“The Sierra Club is focusing on water issues throughout the state,” Warner said. “People in southeastern Wisconsin are most concerned with the lead issues.”

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Warner added that the Sierra Club will release its “white paper” on lead contamination issues at the event. According to the release, that document highlights lead contamination problems throughout the state and offers guidance on how residents can protect themselves from it.

According to Warner, the location choice of a prominent public fountain close to Lake Michigan was deliberate.

“We thought having it by the lake and at a fountain would be a nice tie-in,” she said.

The speeches are set to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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