State Officials Push Action on PFAS
50 state sites polluted. Evers budget includes $20 million to fight forever chemicals.
Wisconsin’s top health official is emphasizing the importance of addressing contamination from PFAS chemicals and their effects on residents’ health.
During a webinar Monday with officials from the Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake said what environmental and health officials are learning about perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances presents an “emerging frontier” that is a challenge to human health.
“The group of chemicals that we refer to as PFAS are extremely common,” said Timberlake. “They can have significant effects on human health. They really do represent another emerging frontier of a challenge to human health, not unlike COVID-19.”
PFAS contamination has been found at more than 50 sites statewide, including the Town of Campbell where thousands of residents on French Island were recently offered bottled water by the state due to well water safety concerns.
Most recently, state officials issued a fish consumption advisory for inland trout in Monroe County because of PFAS. The chemicals have also been found in deer liver near Marinette.
Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed budget includes $20 million in one-time DNR funding for the DNR to provide money for local communities affected by PFAS contamination, as well as 11 new positions to carry out the state’s PFAS action plan.
The DNR will soon be taking comments from the public on how much it would cost to implement standards meant to protect drinking water and groundwater, Johnson said.
More than two-thirds of Wisconsin residents get their drinking water from groundwater, and in November, state health officials proposed groundwater standards for 16 PFAS chemicals.
The federal government currently does not regulate PFAS as a hazardous substance.
Listen to the WPR report here.
State Officials Continue Efforts To Track PFAS Contamination was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
More about the PFAS Problem
- Clean Wisconsin weighs-in on major PFAS bill, calls for changes to language that could weaken spills law - Clean Wisconsin - Jun 5th, 2023
- Senator Agard Statement on Republican PFAS Proposal - State Sen. Melissa Agard, Senate Democratic Leader - Jun 5th, 2023
- Attorney General Kaul Leads 17 States in Urging EPA to Finalize Proposed PFAS Drinking Water Standards - Wisconsin Department of Justice - May 31st, 2023
- Republicans Vote to Create $125 Million Fund To Address PFAS - Anya van Wagtendonk - May 19th, 2023
- Conservation voters laud first step in addressing PFAS - Wisconsin Conservation Voters - May 18th, 2023
- Wisconsin Conservation Voters mobilizes membership to advocate for PFAS remediation in the state budget - Wisconsin Conservation Voters - May 16th, 2023
- New PFAS Fish Consumption Advisory For Green Bay And Associated Tributaries - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - May 4th, 2023
- New Toolkit Available To Help Local Leaders Address PFAS Contamination In Drinking Water - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - May 2nd, 2023
- DNR Seeking Public Input On PFAS Contamination In Marinette, Peshtigo And Surrounding Communities - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Apr 19th, 2023
- DNR Says Tyco Failing To Comply With Marinette PFAS Investigation - Danielle Kaeding - Apr 14th, 2023
Read more about PFAS Problem here