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Environmental group hopeful for government action against PFAS

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While the city of La Crosse continues to deal with well water pollution traced to chemical use at the municipal airport, the federal government is taking steps to limit the use of those chemicals. 

The Environmental Working Group says the Biden White House has done more in 8 months to fight PFAS pollution than President Trump did in 4 years. 

Working Group vice president Scott Faber told a Zoom news conference that Washington is enacting plans to reduce PFAS use.

“Take steps to end unnecessary uses of PFAS, especially in firefighting foam and household products,” says Faber.    

La Crosse Airport director Ian Turner says most use of firefighting foam containing PFAS has been halted at the French Island airport, but some is still required by the FAA.  The foam has been blamed for high levels of hazardous chemicals in city and private wells near airport property, forcing many families to use bottled water for now.

Colin O’Neil, a legislative director for the group, says the budget reconciliation bill before Congress includes $80 million to help local fire departments replace the foam containing PFAS.    

The city of La Crosse has gone to court, seeking relief for French Island families which have PFAS in their well water.  The chemicals have been traced to firefighting efforts at or near the airport.    

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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