Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals resistant to heat, water, and oil. For decades, PFAS have been used for industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, waterproof clothing, upholstery, food packaging, firefighting foam, and various paper products. They are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because PFAS do not breakdown in the environment.
Gov. Tony Evers continued to demonstrate his commitment to clean drinking water with an executive order yesterday that addresses PFAS, which are linked to adverse health effects such as cancer and developmental issues.
Gov. Evers’ order will establish a public information website to inform the public on PFAS and the risk these chemicals pose to public health and Wisconsin’s natural resources. It directs the state to collaborate with municipalities and wastewater treatment plants on screening programs to identify potential sources of PFAS. It expands monitoring of PFAS in the development of fish and other wildlife consumption advisories to protect human health, and it creates a PFAS Coordinating Council.
Executive Director Kerry Schumann had this to say on Gov. Ever’s order:
“It’s been a good month for drinking water in Wisconsin. This is the latest demonstration of Gov. Evers’ commitment to addressing the water quality crisis in Wisconsin. PFAS are a dangerous pollutant. This order will shine a light on this emerging threat, and give communities important resources to address it. We applaud Gov. Evers’ efforts to help protect drinking water. Now, we look to the legislature to act. Senate Bill 302, or the CLEAR Act, would set strong standards regarding PFAS. The legislature should pass it as soon as possible so that Wisconsin can begin to protect its citizens.”