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Governor calls for release of PFAS funding, while a Republican lawmaker says farmers need some protections first

Chris Anton - stock.adobe.com

Governor Tony Evers stopped in Marshfield to speak with local leaders, and take a look at the city's new temporary PFAS treatment plant. He said that republicans in the state legislature need to free up the $125 million dollars set aside in the state budget for PFAS relief.

Evers said, "My frustration is quite simple. The money is there, and frankly, I'm not quite sure anymore why they're holding on to it, but they are an we'll continue to press them to do it."

Republicans say that they're holding on to it to protect Wisconsin farmers. State Representative Pat Snyder (R, 85th Assembly District) said that farmers will sometimes use sludge on their fields, without knowing it has PFAS in it, and doesn't want them getting in trouble for something they didn't know.

Snyder said, "So we just didn't want the DNR to have the ability for the innocent to be suddenly charged $5,000 a day for a violation. That seems to be the big impasse, he vetoed the bill because he wanted more authority for the DNR."

He said that addressing PFAS is an important issue, but that protections for farmers needed to be added first. Snyder said, "This is a situation that we knew was important to address that's why we put the $125 million dollars into it. I just think that it comes down to protecting some of the innocent, some of what the DNR can and cannot do."

Evers said that money would go a long way, and listed some of the things it could be used for. He said, "Some of the money is for municipalities, some for private wells. It could be about testing, it could be about facilities."

Both men said that they're confident that an agreement will happen, but that they're going to have to work on it. The city says that a more permanent facility is still on the way, and Evers commended them for their work to clean up the city's water.

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