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As I See It

More urgency needed on PFAS



It is a sharp dichotomy. People on French Island are eager for the state to help them get clean drinking water, but the politicians who control the purse strings don’t seem eager to solve the problem. Residents of the Town of Campbell have spent the past two years afraid to turn on the tap because of PFAS chemicals, which don’t break down and have been traced to significant health effects. Wisconsin lawmakers approved money in the most recent state budget, $125 million, but haven’t decided how the money is to be spent. So no money is flowing from Madison to French Island or other Wisconsin cities plagued by PFAS. The urgency and frustration residents of the island feel clearly isn’t shared by members of the Wisconsin Legislature.  In fact, they haven’t even banned the use of PFAS chemicals by Wisconsin manufacturers, so the problem will likely get worse before it gets better. This is an urgent problem that has gone unsolved for too long. Our legislators should make cleaning up the chemicals a priority, and get the funding they have already approved to French Island and other communities that need it so desperately. You can bet if those making the rules couldn’t drink their own tap water, they would have addressed this problem years ago.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Greg

    August 21, 2023 at 7:10 am

    There is a simple cure for PFAs on French Island. Hook up to LaCrosse water system. It’s right in your face and yet it hasn’t been done. LaCrosse created the problem, though inadvertently, so take responsibility and make it right. The problem could’ve been solved already if not for the finger pointing and buck passing. Mayor Mitch, get off your high horse and make it happen!

  2. walden

    August 22, 2023 at 11:28 am

    3M announced months ago it is ceasing production of PFAS chemicals worldwide.

    The author has no other solution other than spending money? Spending money on what exactly? The comment above is the only solution I have heard brought forward and local politicians are ignoring it.

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