Gov. Evers, DNR Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Announce New Tool for Understanding PFAS Contamination in Wisconsin
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), today announced the launch of the PFAS Interactive Data Viewer, which is a new tool to understand how per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are impacting Wisconsin’s lands and waters. The PFAS Interactive Data Viewer is an interactive mapping tool that combines multiple types of data into one resource and shows where PFAS have been found in Wisconsin. The announcement comes as the state recognizes the 50th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act today and yesterday, Gov. Evers and the DNR announced the state will start collecting and disposing of at least 25,000 gallons of PFAS-containing firefighting foam waste from fire departments throughout Wisconsin.
PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays, and certain types of firefighting foam. These contaminants have made their way into the environment through spills of PFAS-containing chemicals, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants, and certain types of firefighting foams.
In 2019, Gov. Evers declared it the Year of Clean Drinking Water and signed Executive Order #40, committing to address the issue of PFAS contamination in Wisconsin. The interactive viewer is part of ongoing work across state agencies to get more information about PFAS into the hands of the public. As a result of the investments Gov. Evers has made in monitoring, standard setting, and collaboration with local water utilities, this tool has a significant amount of information available that has been collected across DNR’s data systems, including locations with known contamination, PFAS-related fish and game consumption advisories, and bodies of water sampled during routine or targeted monitoring.
Through Executive Order #40, Gov. Evers also established the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC), which recommended development of the PFAS Interactive Data Viewer in the PFAS Action Plan, released in 2020. They also recommended development of a statewide PFAS-containing firefighting foam waste collection and disposal program, such as the one that launched yesterday, which was funded in the 2021-23 biennial budget signed by Gov. Evers.
Updates on both the Interactive Data Viewer and the PFAS-containing firefighting foam waste collection and disposal program were featured in WisPAC’s PFAS Action Plan Progress Report, which was released earlier this year. More information about PFAS in the environment is available on the DNR’s PFAS website.
An online version of this release is available here.
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- Wisconsin Seeking Federal Help For Town With PFAS Contamination 170 Times Safe Levels - Danielle Kaeding - Dec 23rd, 2022
- Natural Resources Board Moves Forward with Groundwater Standards to Protect Wisconsin Communities from PFAS Contamination - Midwest Environmental Advocates - Dec 14th, 2022
- AG Kaul Calls on U.S. Senate to Pass legislation to Protect the Public from Highly Toxic ‘Forever’ Chemicals - Wisconsin Department of Justice - Nov 11th, 2022
Read more about PFAS Problem here
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