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Wisconsin DNR board adopts PFAS standards for drinking, surface waters

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FILE: In this June 2021 photo, the Navy's Blue Angels fly over French Island, where many private wells are contaminated with PFAS. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Department of Natural Resources policy board on Tuesday adopted Wisconsin’s first limits on so-called “forever chemicals” in drinking and surface water.

The board voted 6-1 on Wednesday to set the limits for PFAS chemicals in drinking water at 70 parts per trillion and voted unanimously to set the limits at 8 ppt for most surface waters that can support fish.

The board scrapped a proposal to set PFAS limits at 20 ppt in groundwater, citing what board member Bill Bruins called “astronomical” costs to replace wells and install treatment equipment at water utilities.

The limits are still subject to legislative approval.

PFAS are widely used in cookware and fire-fighting foam and may be linked to a number of health problems in humans and animals. The chemicals have been found in a host of Wisconsin communities, including the Town of Campbell on French Island, where residents there have been on bottled water for over a year.

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