WGF Statement on WDNR’s request for JFC action on PFAS funding

WI Green Fire, December 19, 2023

two girls drinking from an outdoor water fountain, Image by unitonstudio from Pixabay

On December 19th, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) released a letter to the Co-chairs of the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance (JFC), requesting the release of PFAS funding. The WDNR’s letter requests release of segregated funds to support affected communities and private well owners, and to support monitoring, research, and public health needs around PFAS. The request to release the funds reflects a critical need for state action on the growing challenge of PFAS contamination of water supplies in Wisconsin.

A new report from Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) documents the need for PFAS funding, as identified by the WDNR. Read WGF’s report: PFAS in Wisconsin Drinking Water: A Summary of Current Detections and their Implications for Wisconsin.

In this report, WGF estimates a cost of $208 Million to address PFAS contamination in Wisconsin water systems. The $208 Million estimate includes the investments needed to install treatment systems in municipal and private water supplies that are currently seriously impacted by PFAS.

WGF Executive Director Meleesa Johnson stated: “Wisconsin residents and municipalities affected by PFAS cannot wait. They need action today to protect water supplies and human health. Our work shows that these investments are absolutely needed, and we encourage legislators to act now to ensure the monies of the PFAS Trust Fund are used as intended when it was established.”

WGF’s report notes that the current lack of groundwater standards for PFAS places at risk the millions of Wisconsin residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells. As the legislature debates legislation or rules to address groundwater standards, fulfilling today’s segregated funds request from the WDNR will help provide badly needed funds to address the needs of private well owners affected by PFAS. 

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