Input invited on plan to protect drinking water

Input invited on plan to protect drinking water To help protect drinking water supplies in South Dakota, Governor Bill Janklow is inviting the public to comment on the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources' (DENR) draft of its Source Water Assessment Program.

"We want to hear comments and suggestions from the people of South Dakota, including the agriculture, commercial, residential and industrial sectors regulated by DENR," Janklow said. "It will help us to make sure we're doing everything we can to protect our drinking water."

The Source Water Assessment Program will determine the methods DENR uses to identify possible sources of contamination to the 760 public drinking water systems in the state. The Source Water Assessments include defining the most critical area around a water source, inventorying potential pollution sources, and determining the vulnerability of the water supply to those inventoried sources.

The public input meetings will be held over the RDTN network on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Two meetings will be held, the first from 3 to 5 p.m., the second from 8 to 10 p.m. (all times central). The meetings will be carried at RDNT sites in Aberdeen, Brookings, Madison, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Vermillion, Watertown and Yankton. Vermillion's site is at USD's Center for Continuing Education, Studio II for the 3 to 5:50 p.m. session and Studio I for the 8 to 10 p.m. session.

The meetings will include an overview of the department's proposed Source Water Assessment Program plan and a question and answer session, followed by time for citizens to offer comments and suggestions regarding the proposed plan. Public input will be included in the DENR's final Source Water Assessment Program plan that will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

For more information about the Source Water Assessment Program, visit DENR's website at www.state.sd.us/denr (under "Hot Topics") or contact Tricia Sebes, DENR Ground Water Quality Program, at (605) 773-3296.

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