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As I See It

Lawmakers need to act quickly to regulate PFAS

Scott Robert Shaw

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The problem of contaminated water in Wisconsin is growing. In fact, we don’t even have a handle on the extent of the problem. But we do know that chemicals called PFAS are showing up more and more in Wisconsin groundwater. These chemicals don’t break down easily and are creating harmful health effects. These chemicals have been linked to cancer in humans. Right now, the Wisconsin DNR does not have the authority to create or enforce standards for these chemicals. We don’t know how much of the chemical should be allowed in our water, or how high the current rates are. What is suspected is that the problem is more widespread than we know and it will be costly to clean up. A hearing in the Wisconsin Assembly last week to allow regulation of PFAS earned support from the DNR and other environmental groups. But the Wisconsin paper industry says more regulation will be costly. And the clock is ticking on the end of this legislative session, reducing the odds a bill will be signed into law. This is when our lawmakers need to earn their paychecks and make the difficult decision. Will they give in to the special interests yet again, or will they do what they were elected to do, and keep Wisconsin’s citizens safe?

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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