Gov. Evers, State Legislators Announce Legislation to Address Statewide PFAS Contamination
Democrats reintroduce the CLEAR Act to enact and enforce statewide PFAS standards, fund PFAS testing, monitoring, and mitigation efforts
LA CROSSE — Gov. Tony Evers, together with State Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) and State Representative Samba Baldeh (D-Madison), reintroduced Wisconsin’s Chemical Level Enforcement and Remediation (CLEAR) Act for the 2021-23 legislative session in La Crosse today. The city of La Crosse and town of Campbell have recently been impacted by PFAS contamination on French Island in La Crosse County. The governor was also joined at the press conference by State Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse), State Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse), State Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska), and town of Campbell Board Member Lee Donahue.
“Every Wisconsinite, no matter where they live, should be able to trust the water from their tap. Period,” said Gov. Evers. “Unfortunately, as the folks here on French Island know and households across the state know, that’s not the case. The CLEAR Act gets to work and tackles PFAS with an immediate, comprehensive, and unified response, and I am glad to support this legislation today to continue our work to ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water in Wisconsin.”
The CLEAR Act was introduced in the 2019-21 biennium but the bill was never given a public hearing.
“Water is life – having access to clean, usable water is a human right and is vital to the success of any community,” said Sen. Agard. “The CLEAR Act takes the necessary, but aggressive steps to address PFAs contamination across the state, while providing local governments with funding to start the lengthy process of ridding our water of forever chemicals.
“Wisconsin has a long heritage of holding high standards for our outdoor spaces and water sources. The CLEAR Act gets us back to those roots by making Wisconsin the gold standard for water quality. This bill is the most comprehensive piece of PFAS legislation in the nation. It’s time Wisconsin leads on this issue. We should all be on the same side when it comes to clean water and it should not matter whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent. I am calling on all of my colleagues to sign on to this important legislation and follow Governor Evers lead in addressing PFAS in the state of Wisconsin.”
“In my community in Madison we had our well water shut off due to PFAS contamination. We learned about the problem due to a group of vigilant residents that demanded information and accountability from local officials. While we have been able to work to address the PFAS, we don’t know how long the water was contaminated and we don’t know the long-term impact of our exposure,” said State Rep. Baldeh. ”That is why I am proud to stand with the governor today and put forward a proposal to address PFAS that will provide communities the tools and resources to find out if their water is safe and if it’s not safe, to address the problem. We will not stop until we know that everyone in Wisconsin has access to safe and healthful water.”
PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, 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 materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and certain types of firefighting foams.
PFAS do not break down in the environment and have been discovered at concentrations of concern in groundwater, surface water and drinking water. They are also known to bioaccumulate in fish and wildlife tissues and accumulate in the human body, posing several risks to human health.
- Evers, Democrats Push PFAS Contamination Bill - Hope Kirwan - Apr 22nd, 2021
- Gov. Evers, State Legislators Announce Legislation to Address Statewide PFAS Contamination - Gov. Tony Evers - Apr 21st, 2021
- State Officials Push Action on PFAS - Shamane Mills - Apr 20th, 2021
- PFAS In Wisconsin Webinar 2 p.m. April 19 - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Apr 16th, 2021
- New Fish Consumption Advisory For Silver Creek - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Apr 15th, 2021
- DNR Extends Deadline For Town Of Peshtigo Residents To Receive Free PFAS Sampling Of Private Drinking Water Wells - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Apr 9th, 2021
- Business Lobby Sues DNR Over PFAS Testing - Danielle Kaeding - Apr 1st, 2021
- French Island Wells Show PFAS Pollution - Isiah Holmes - Mar 30th, 2021
- Multiple State Agencies Responding To PFAS Contamination On French Island - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Mar 25th, 2021
- Senate Passes Bill To Prevent Rape Kit Backlog - Shawn Johnson - Mar 16th, 2021
Read more about PFAS Problem here
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