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Tests show PFAS contamination in 500 French Island wells



FILE - La Crosse Airport Fire Station

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — More wells on French Island are contaminated with at least some level of PFAS chemicals, according to state tests.

There are 538 wells total on the island with PFAS — 165 of those at levels above the state’s recommended 20 parts per trillion hazard standard. Nine wells were over 1,000 parts per trillion.

Of the 538, 17 of them were public wells and two of those 17 were over the standard. Those wells might supply water to places like the library, stores, or offices, the Wisconsin DNR said, but they are not municipal wells.

As of now, the agency hasn’t released the names of those facilities but is requiring that patrons be notified of the contamination.

French Island is under the jurisdiction of the town of Campbell but the city of La Crosse operates the La Crosse Regional Airport, where fire-fighting foam used there is thought to be the cause of the contamination, although testing has since suggested the pollution exceeded that perimeter and came from an additional source.

The city filed a lawsuit in March against a host of chemical manufacturers that produced firefighting foam alleging they knew since the 1960s that PFAS could be released from the foam and seep into groundwater.

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