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Wausau to go to court of PFAS contamination of city wells

 Running water

The city of Wausau will likely end up spending tens of millions of dollars to rid its water of PFAS, and now they're taking steps so taxpayers don't have to pay for it.

The city was first approached by law firms about pursuing litigation against PFAS manufacturers last February, and now, they're finally ready to take action.

"We are ready to keep moving," said Mayor Katie Rosenberg.

She said their goal is to right some wrongs, and lift the burdens off the taxpayers.

"Each individual water user is not responsible for the PFAS contamination that happened to our wells," said Mayor Rosenberg.

And now they're consulting attorneys to see what can be done.

Legal advisors said going after the manufacturers is only fair considering the damage done to the community.

"This has been in our environment, it's been in our groundwater, its been in our surface water, somebody discharged this," said Stephen Acquario, with Napoli Shkilnik PLLC.

Known PFAS manufacturers include 3M, Asahi Glass, Arkema, Ciba, Daikin, and more.

Over the past year, agencies across the country have suggested different thresholds of safe amount of PFAS.

Acquario said that lack of consistency has put many communities in danger.

"People thought we were safe at 65 parts per trillion," said Acquario.

Current regulations call for 4 parts per trillion as a safe threshold, but the EPA is aiming for water across the country to be PFAS free.

Mayor Rosenberg said she's heard from the public, and they all said one thing: something needs to be done.

"I know why our water rates are going up but we don't think it's fair if we didn't put the pollution there," said Mayor Rosenberg.

They said at the end of the day, their goal is to get every cent back to the public.

The council did vote to proceed with that lawsuit, and Mayor Rosenberg announced on Facebook that more details will be coming in the next few days.

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