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Residents voice opinions at DNR’s state-wide PFAS hearing

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PFAS DRIP

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)- Residents from around the state voiced their opinions on a new set of safety standards for drinking and groundwater at a Wisconsin DNR virtual PFAS hearing on Friday.

In an effort to protect public health, welfare, and the environment, the DNR is proposing two new water guidelines. The first addresses groundwater PFAS levels, after officials reviewed 40 local compounds and recommended new standards for 22 of them.

The proposed groundwater guideline outlines updated numerical standards to help minimize the concentration of polluting substances. Similarly, the new drinking water standards laid out plans to establish new maximum contaminant levels for 12 additional PFAS, as well as combined standards for four PFAS.

The majority of hearing attendees expressed their support for the water standards, as many have experience how PFAS contamination can impact drinking water first-hand.

Look at additional local coverage of the PFAS issue here.

According to the Town of Campbell's supervisor for Health, Education, and Welfare Lee Donahue, nearly 4,000 residents in her community now use bottled water after a number of the town's wells were contaminated.

Donahue stated this issue is not limited to Campbell and affects communities across the state, with 52 out of 70 counties testing positive for PFAS contamination of some kind.

Donahue pointed out that having safe drinking water is crucial, as it affects Wisconinites' very way of life, impacting everything from deer hunting to beer production. Additionally, Donahue said a lack of clean drinking water can harm the environment, economy, and community members' health.

"We need to create these safe standards that helps us secure our economic drivers," said Donahue. "It helps secure the health and safety of our farms, our hunting lands, our fishing waters, and even more importantly the health and safety of every child and vulnerable population in the state of Wisconsin."

The DNR encouraged the public to voice their opinions and concerns about the proposed PFAS standards. Residents can email written comments to DNRAdministrativeRulesComments@Wisconsin.gov through June 10.

INFORMATION AND PREVIOUS WXOW COVERAGE ON PFAS ISSUES

WXOW Coverage of PFAS issues

City of La Crosse PFAS information

Town of Campbell PFAS information

DNR PFAS information website

DNR investingation into Town of Campbell PFAS contamination

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Grace Gilles

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