GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — The Wisconsin DNR has confirmed the presence of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in the Peshtigo River and in a nearby culvert.
Residents reportedly contacted the DNR in September with concerns after seeing foam on the river below the dam in the city of Peshtigo and in a nearby culvert.
The DNR adds that foam frequently collects on the surface of rivers and lakes due to the buildup of organic compounds from decaying plant or algal material, where wind and wave action pushes them to the shore.
DNR-hired contractors have been dispatched to sample the foam and surface water for PFAS contamination in the reported areas.
Officials say seventeen other PFAS contaminants were also discovered during the testing.
A foam response plan has been developed for the public by the DNR to be used if foam is seen on rivers and lakes. The DNR says they will evaluate the information provided by the public and determine whether a sampling response is warranted.
The DNR says “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 in a variety of ways, including spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and certain types of firefighting foams.”
For more about PFAS and public health information, click here.