Rhinelander Could Be Candidate for Millions in State Money for PFAS

Mar 4, 2021

Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR

The City of Rhinelander could have a shot at millions of dollars in state money to address its PFAS problem, if a proposal by Gov. Tony Evers is approved.

In his budget plan, Evers plans to provide $20 million in funding for communities to respond to PFAS contamination.

Rhinelander might be a candidate for some of that money.

“That $10 million in the governor’s budget, per year, so $20 million in the first two years, if this would pass, could help local governments pay for those kind of treatment systems on their wells,” said Darsi Foss, the administrator of the DNR’s Environmental Management Division.

Foss made the comment in a PFAS forum organized by Wisconsin’s Green Fire.

PFAS is a group of chemical compounds with links to thyroid disease, low birth weight, and cancer.

Elevated levels of PFAS in two of Rhinelander’s five municipal water wells shut down the wells in 2019, and the wells remain off.

Evers’ recommendation is part of a broader plan on PFAS, which also calls for testing the water of every public system in the state.