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DNR Secretary believes concern caused by PFAS not yet fully appreciated


Even with all the attention PFAS pollution has been getting, Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Secretary believes some do not yet appreciate how serious the concern is.

PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals that are linked to a wide range of health issues like low birthweight and kidney cancer.

Wells in some locations have been contaminated, and fish consumption advisories have been issued for more than 40 water bodies statewide.

State and federal regulators have been working to figure out how best to address concerns related to PFAS.

“If we want to turn on the faucet and drink clean, safe water, if we want to go fishing and enjoy a meal, if want our friends and family to vacation with us wherever it is in the state, we need to take this seriously. It’s going to take an investment and some good things have happened. I’m so proud of the team and the things we’ve done, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” said DNR Secretary Adam Payne.

Payne says he still sees a number of people in the public not fully appreciating how serious this is.

“We’re going to need to make some key investments, and take some action to solve this, and it’s going to take time. I think all of us in this room, we’re going to be talking about PFAS potentially for the rest of our lives. I’d sure like to see us turning the corner and seeing more hope, and seeing fish consumption advisories coming down, not going up. It’s going to take some work.”

Payne made the comments during a recent Natural Resources Board meeting.

PFAS chemicals have been found in drinking water throughout the state including Rhinelander, Wausau, and more than 20 private wells in the Township of Stella.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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