Read the full article by Ann Meyer (Eagle Herald)
“MARINETTE—Fifty bright-red PFAS warning signs are scheduled to be erected in the Town of Peshtigo and Marinette in the coming weeks to alert people to stay away from the dangerous contaminants, the Town of Peshtigo Board of Supervisors said at its April 7 board meeting.
The vertical signs are designed to notify people of areas contaminated by PFAS—or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they build up over time and are linked to health issues.
Elected officials from the Town of Peshtigo and City of Marinette believe more visible signs are needed.
With more recent testing indicating ‘just how bad’ the PFAS contamination is, ‘we need more dramatic signs,’ said City of Marinette Ward 3 Rep. Doug Oitzinger.
Johnson Controls Inc./Tyco has agreed to pay for the signs, Town of Peshtigo Supervisor Cindy Baur said.
The company first installed signs in 2019 in Marinette and in 2020 in the Town of Peshtigo, said Kathleen Cantillon, director of environmental communications at Johnson Controls.
The new signs tell people to avoid swallowing the water and touching the foam and to wash skin with clean water after coming into contact with the foam or contaminated water.
The new signage follows 2021 revisions to the text from Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health Services. Tyco worked with the state agencies on the revised signs and added locations.
‘Then local authorities decided which option best met their specific needs. The City of Marinette indicated that the existing signage was sufficient. The Marinette School District requested an additional 16 signs and replacement of the existing four signs with a revised design. The Town of Peshtigo chose another option. The revised signs are now in the process of being fabricated and will be installed in about four to six weeks,’ Cantillon said.
The Town of Peshtigo chose a red warning sign. ‘It’s just a large PFAS warning sign,’ Baur said at the board meeting. ‘We can move quickly. They’ve actually already started cutting the metal for them.’
Oitzinger said the bright red warning signs are a long time coming. ‘I’m four years into this,’ he said. The advisory signs that were installed previously aren’t sufficient given the extent of the contamination. With more recent testing indicating ‘just how bad’ the PFAS contamination is, ‘we need more dramatic signs,’ he said.”…