LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - La Crosse mayoral candidate Vicki Markussen says if elected she'd provide safe drinking water to the residents affected by PFAS contamination in the Town of Campbell.
Markussen spoke Friday morning at the La Crosse Regional Airport. It is where firefighting foam containing "forever chemicals" spread from the airport to surrounding wells and groundwater on French Island.
In her comments, she laid out her plan for both short and long-term solutions. Her first goal was to provide clean water to everyone.
From there, she also said she'd immediately stop the firefighting foam that contains PFAS. Markussen also advocated continued testing around the airport area as well as expanding testing to include the northwest part of French Island where a plane crashed in the 1970s.
Another key is working on improving the communication between the city and Town of Campbell.
"We really need to open that line of communication because the longer we let it stay without communication the more concern and fear builds and animosity towards the city. So the sooner we start working together, I think we are going to start to at least have a plan moving forward," said Markussen.
She also advocated working with state and federal authorities for funding to deal with the PFAS issue.
Reached by WXOW for comment, mayoral candidate Mitch Reynolds gave a statement saying he'd also provide safe water for Campbell residents if elected. "I have committed to providing safe and clean drinking water to our neighbors and community members impacted by this crisis while we continue to work through the process of identifying sources and levels of PFAS chemical contamination. We must also continue testing and analysis in order to determine the breadth of this contamination and understand what will be necessary for future remediation steps. Finally, we must exhaust every opportunity to discontinue federally mandated use of the firefighting foams from which these chemicals are derived and, as mayor, I will commit to that action."
INFORMATION AND PREVIOUS WXOW COVERAGE ON PFAS ISSUES