A recent law passed in Wisconsin may be getting in the way of efforts to prevent PFAS pollution in the state’s groundwater.
The law known as the REINS Act limits the DNR’s ability to set PFAS standards in water supplies, by setting a maximum cost for a remediation project at $10 million. La Crosse State Senator Brad Pfaff is sponsoring a bill that would make an exception for setting
“The legislation that Rep. Billings and I have introduced allows a one-time exemption, in order to establish a groundwater standard in the state that includes PFAS,” Pfaff tells WIZM News.
Pfaff says an evaluation of PFAS levels in groundwater might exceed the $10 million limit. His bill with Rep. Jill Billings is aimed specifically at regulating PFAS chemicals, found in large numbers of private wells near the La Crosse Airport, and traced to firefighting foam long used at the airport.
Pfaff says a study is ready to go. “The Department of Natural Resources has come back to the legislature and said, we’re ready to go to work here to help set the standard, ” he says, “but in order to implement it, we estimated it’s going to cost more that what the REINS Act permits us to spend.”
Pfaff says the DNR project would allow Wisconsin to have certain pollution standards in line with rules in other states, including Minnesota.