GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Governor Tony Evers and Democratic lawmakers are proposing a bill to address the growing issue of PFAS contamination in Wisconsin. The proposal would allow for quick action to deal with these man-made chemicals, threatening water quality.
Outside the DNR’s office in Green Bay, lawmakers unveil a proposed bill to address the emerging threat that PFAS pose to the environment and our health.
“These compounds are totally pervasive. Not just where they show up in the environment, but where they show up in our state,” said State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay).
PFAS refer to a family of substances found in items like water-repellent fabrics, nonstick cookware, paints and fire-fighting foams. Such as those produced by Tyco Fire Protection Products in Marinette County, where Jeff Lamont says PFAS contaminated his well.
“My private well was contaminated along with most of my neighbors. I’m in the center of the bloom,” said Lamont.
“People in that community, my family members are relying on bottled water for their access to safe drinking water. This is why solutions are needed right now,” said Carly Michiels of Clean Wisconsin.
Right now PFAS, which are linked to cancer and developmental issues in children, aren’t regulated in Wisconsin. But this bill would change that by directing the DNR to create health standards, monitoring requirements and response plans for PFAS found in drinking water, groundwater, air, solid waste and more.
“Access to clean, safe drinking water is a right for everyone and we must take action to guarantee that right is fulfilled,” said State Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona).
“Today we begin the process of returning Wisconsin to the environmental leader of environmental protection,” said DNR Secretary-Designee Preston Cole.
“Democrats and Republicans, I want you to sign on to this bill. Let us get this thing passed,” said Governor Tony Evers (D-Wisconsin).
The group Clean Wisconsin says there are at least 18 investigations in the state concerning PFAS contamination.
Republican Representative John Nygren and Republican State Senator Rob Cowles have also introduced legislation related to PFAS. Their bill would restrict the use of PFAS to firefighting, fire prevention and testing purposes only.