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Campbell supervisor calls for public help in protesting PFAS pollution

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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)

A thousand letters from French Island area families might persuade Wisconsin political leaders to take action against water pollution from PFAS chemicals.

That’s the hope of Lee Donahue from the Campbell Town Board.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Donahue urged the public to write letters saying PFAS, found in hundreds of wells throughout Campbell, are not safe.

She said many people need to speak up to say “PFAS contamination is not acceptable, it’s not safe, it’s not sustainable.”

Donahue added that the town board can’t carry the message alone.

Families on French Island have been using bottled water for over a year, because PFAS chemicals are in their well water.

Donahue said she testified about the chemicals at a national EPA hearing last week, where other people told “horrifying” stories about water contamination.

“People talked about farms that had been in their family for generations and generations that are now wastelands, that are so toxic that they can’t do anything with them,” Donahue said. “They can no longer farm on them, they cannot use the water on them, and they cannot sell them because it’s just a toxic piece of property.”

Firefighting foam used by the La Crosse Airport for decades has been blamed for the pollution of wells throughout French Island, forcing families to rely on bottled water for drinking and other uses.

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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