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It’s late October in the northeast corner of Wisconsin. Trees have started to change colors and a colder wind whips across Lake Michigan. Gas station marquees welcome back fall hunters on their annual pilgrimage. 

Tucked away at a technical college, citizens of the rural town of Peshtigo, population 4,006, try to get comfortable in plastic chairs, ready to hear from state officials, once again, about ways they may one day safely drink their home’s well water.

Cindy Boyle, the town’s board chair, is there with her husband, Chuck, one row up from the back. Cindy recently took to the political arena after years of cooking and cleaning with just bottled water. 

Across the room, Jeff Budish, an avid angler and outdoorsman, waits to speak. He’s footed thousands of dollars buying his own bottled water and water filters; he also just wants to be able to fish safely. A few rows up from him sits Doug Oitzinger, a founding member of a local clean water advocacy group, taking diligent notes.

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