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Kind vows more action on PFAS at French Island

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La Crosse’s Congressman is pursuing state and federal relief programs for families on French Island who have found PFAS in their well water. 

Democrat Ron Kind, who also lives on French Island, met with island residents on Thursday to talk about problems that have resulted from water pollution caused by the hazardous chemicals.

Kind says he will call for a national standard for acceptable levels of PFAS in water supplies, pointing out that tainted water is found throughout Wisconsin.

“There are hot spots all over the state, all over the country,” Kind said. “Rather than have this a competition from region to region, we need to approach it, we’re all in this together.”    

The PFAS in French Island water have been traced mainly to firefighting foam used for decades at the La Crosse airport.  

Town chairman Josh Johnson says having PFAS chemicals in the local water has broad effects on the economy, especially tourism on the river.    

Campbell resident Christopher Donahue is upset that some people are blocking attempts to remedy the problem.

“It’s hard to think that there are people that are actively trying to get us less money,” said Donahue. “People that are actively trying to shut us down and have us not move forward. Some of those people have lawyers that fly in on private jets.”

Donahue says he wonders what level of PFAS chemicals are already in his body. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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