Read the full article by Isiah Holmes (Wisconsin Examiner)

“Gov. Tony Evers put items into his biennial budget addresses to further address contamination by PFAS and other ‘forever chemicals’ in Wisconsin’s water supplies. Remediating the various pockets of contamination across the state and providing clean drinking water to affected locales has been a challenge for Wisconsin’s state government, which has been the subject of a legislative task force and many community meetings in impacted areas in recent years.

Evers’ proposed budget carves out several initiatives to continue the state’s efforts against PFAS contamination. PFAS (per- and polyfluroalkyl substances) are part of a large group of human-made chemicals that have seen widespread use in private industries for decades.

The proposed budget allocates $10 million annually to address municipal water testing. Another $1 million is dedicated to the collection and disposal of firefighting foam, which is a main source of contamination. The area around the Dane County Airport has extremely high levels of PFAS contamination due to the firefighting exercises that take place at Truax Field.

Other sources include fast food wrappers, Teflon coating, firefighting foam, anti-stick clothing and other products. This group of compounds has its roots as a water-resistant coating for tanks during World War II. PFAS and their cousins, such as PFOS chemicals, have also been connected to disease and birth defects in animals and humans. They will not break down in the environment or in our bodies.

‘PFAS chemicals in municipal water supplies pose a significant health threat from La Crosse to Marinette and Rhinelander to Madison,’ Rep. Samba Baldeh (D-Madison) said in a statement about Evers’ budget. ‘These communities are known to be at risk due to PFAS-contaminated water. However, it is probably that many more municipal water systems are contaminated but do not know the extent of the problem…’”