Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Press Release

Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) Developing PFAS Action Plan For State

Public Input Opportunities Available

By - Feb 4th, 2020 01:33 pm

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) is developing a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Action Plan to identify priority actions in response to growing concerns about PFAS.

In August, Governor Evers signed Executive Order #40 directing the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish WisPAC to coordinate a state multi-agency effort to address PFAS. A specific requirement of this work is the development a PFAS Action Plan for the State of Wisconsin. The plan is to be completed by June 30, 2020.

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 legacy 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. Over 30 PFAS contaminated sites have been identified in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has also identified several PFAS impacted water bodies, such as Starkweather Creek, which resulted in a more restrictive fish consumption advisory.

PFAS can persist in the environment and the human body for long periods of time. Recent scientific findings indicate that exposure to certain PFAS may have harmful health effects in people. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to some PFAS substances above certain levels may increase the risk of adverse health effects, such as thyroid disease, low birthweights and cancer.

The first phase of plan development will focus on collecting input from a broad audience to identify priorities in the response to PFAS. This information will be collected in the following ways:

  • Input from state agencies will be collected directly from WisPAC members;
  • An online survey has been created to collect public input. Submissions will be collected through midnight Feb. 21, 2020. (Note: Please contact the DNR for a hard copy version);
  • Two advisory groups have been established to facilitate in-person and online opportunities to engage in the planning process, with a focus on either citizen/public policy or local government matters. The following meetings are scheduled:
Date Location Information
February 12th, 2020

9:00am – 12:00pm

Madison, WI Citizen/Public Policy Advisory Group Meeting
February 12th, 2020

1:00pm – 4:00pm

Local Government Advisory Group Meeting

March 5th, 2020

9:00am – 12:00pm

Fitchburg, WI Citizen/Public Policy Advisory Group Meeting
March 5th, 2020

1:00pm – 4:00pm

Local Government Advisory Group Meeting
April 2nd

Time TBD

Madison, WI Joint Advisory Group Meeting
  • A general public meeting on the PFAS Action Plan is also scheduled:
Date Location Information
February 18th, 2020

11:00pm – 1:00pm

Oshkosh, WI General Public Meeting: PFAS, WisPAC and the PFAS Action Plan

The information gathered through this process will inform WisPAC’s decision making process as they formulate the PFAS Action Plan. A second round of public input will occur when a draft PFAS Action Plan has been developed. This comment period is expected to occur in late April and into May.

The DNR’s WisPAC webpage includes more detail on the public input opportunities. Updates will be posted as the PFAS Action Plan planning process unfolds.

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