Read the full article by Danielle Kaeding (Wisconsin Public Radio)
“People living in and around communities contaminated with PFAS say Wisconsin can’t afford to wait for federal standards to address harmful ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water.
The remarks were made as state environmental regulators held a virtual public hearing Wednesday morning on proposed state standards to regulate PFAS in drinking water for two of the most widely studied chemicals: PFOA and PFOS. No one spoke in opposition to the proposed standards.
The regulations would set a combined standard of 20 parts per trillion in line with state health officials’ recommendation to protect public health. PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of thousands of chemicals that are found in firefighting foam and everyday products. They’ve been linked to increased risk of kidney and testicular cancers, thyroid disease and fertility issues. The chemicals don’t break down easily in the environment.
PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of thousands of chemicals that are found in firefighting foam and everyday products. They’ve been linked to increased risk of kidney and testicular cancers, thyroid disease and fertility issues. The chemicals don’t break down easily in the environment.
Abby Siakpere has been drinking bottled water in the Town of Campbell after testing that began last year has since revealed PFAS in nearly all public and private wells that have been sampled. Thirty percent of 553 wells tested in the town exceed the state’s recommended standard or health hazard index. Siakpere recounted the difficulty of moving, storing and refilling the 5-gallon jugs that now serve as a source of drinking water.
‘Safe drinking water should be a basic human right in Wisconsin, and I am here on behalf of the people of the Town of Campbell who are pleading for your help,’ said Siakpere. ‘Passage of drinking water standards for PFAS are long overdue.’
Communities across the state are contending with PFAS contamination of private and public water supplies, including the towns of Campbell and Peshtigo, and the cities of Marinette, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Rhinelander and Madison. So far, state environmental regulators have detected 51 sites within 25 communities that have PFAS polluted groundwater. Environmental advocates warn more contamination is likely to be found as systems test for the chemicals. Residents of those communities voiced support for state standards, including Kayla Furton, a Peshtigo town supervisor. Around 140 residents in her community have been drinking bottled water for years due to PFAS contamination stemming from the use of PFAS firefighting foam at Tyco Fire Products’ fire training facility in Marinette.”…