Discussing PFAS with Gov. Evers

Meleesa Johnson, March 18, 2024

by Meleesa Johnson, WGF Executive Director

Governor Tony Evers and WGF Executive Director Meleesa Johnson

Governor Tony Evers (left) and WGF Executive Director Meleesa Johnson (right) in Marshfield, March 14, 2024

On March 14th, I was proud to represent Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) at an event in Marshfield to discuss PFAS funding with Governor Tony Evers. PFAS are the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances famous for their non-stick and firefighting properties, and infamous for their negative impacts on human health and the environment.

Not only did I speak with the Governor, but also Mayor Lois (as she calls herself), members of the city council, the leadership at the water utility, and Rep. Donna Rozar. This event was part of several visits by the Governor to water treatment centers during “National Groundwater Awareness Week” in Wisconsin.

Releasing the $125 million from the PFAS Trust Fund (allocated in 2023) is essential for communities struggling with PFAS.  Gov. Evers has repeatedly urged the Legislature to make that happen. WGF supports that effort.

During the event, Gov. Evers rearticulated the rationale for vetoing Senate Bill 312, emphasizing two reasons:

  1. Senate Bill 312 did not allocate any money for dealing with PFAS, let alone the full $125 million in the PFAS Trust Fund.
  2. The bill would weaken the Spills Law and the state’s ability to hold polluters accountable for contamination.

In a February letter, WGF urged Gov. Evers to veto SB 312 for these reasons.

When I asked about groundwater standards for PFOS/PFOA, two categories of PFAS chemicals, the Governor said, “they are working on it,” but it would be at least three years. While the Environmental Protection Agency sets national drinking water standards, the state sets its own groundwater standards.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new articles by email.