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Wisconsin DNR PFAS drinking and surface water rules go into effect


New administrative rules for PFAS in Wisconsin are now in effect.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board approved the weakened rules earlier this year.

In February, DNR staff proposed a threshold of 20 parts per trillion for PFAS in drinking water.

This is in line with recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The Natural Resources Board voted 6 to 1 to approve a drinking water standard of 70 parts per trillion. It also approved 8 ppt for most surface waters that can support fish.

If the PFAS compounds are found at levels higher than allowed by the standards in either drinking water or regulated discharges to surface water, steps to reduce the contamination will be required.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam.

These contaminants have made their way into the environment, and humans and animals can develop negative health impacts when exposed to them.

Increased testing for the chemical has found it in drinking water in Rhinelander, Wausau, and several other central Wisconsin communities.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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