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As I See It

Washington makes progress on PFAS while Wisconsin goes back to square one



Some progress on PFAS. The federal government, for the first time, has set acceptable levels of the so-called forever chemicals in drinking water. That should help improve the health of people across the country. But in Wisconsin, help is not on the way for those who have contaminated water. The Legislature approved $125 million in state funding to deal with PFAS contamination for people like those on French Island, who have had to drink bottled water for three years because of PFAS chemicals in their well water. But they never approved a plan to spend the money. So, for nearly 300 days, that $125 million has been sitting in a bank account, far from the people who need it. Now, Evers has called the Joint Finance Committee, which controls the purse strings, to meet in a special session to finally decide how to dispense the money. But they have said no. They will not return to Madison to even discuss this important issue. That means there will be no action by the state to deal with PFAS until the new Legislature is installed next year. The money has already been approved, they just refuse to spend it. The problem of PFAS is too urgent for the state to wait any longer to deal with it.

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. Char

    April 11, 2024 at 9:30 am

    What about the fact that Governor Evers vetoed the PFAS bill that was passed???

  2. Paul

    April 11, 2024 at 4:15 pm

    Mr. Shaw,
    As usual, Instead of attempting to be objective, your comments frequently support the team for which you are a fan, the Democrat team. It would behoove you to dig deeper by recognizing that spending money ineffectively is a useless endeavor that cost taxpayers dearly. The federal government created standards as to how much PFAS poison should be allowed in our drinking water. That’s not very reassuring. If I offered you a large glass of water and said, don’t worry, there’s only one drop of rat poison in it would you feel sufficiently better to drink the water. If the government is going to continue to allow poison to be put into the water system, that’s a non-solution. Much better to stop putting pollution into drinking water than to limit how much. To my knowledge, federal regulations still require airport fire fighters to practice with fire fighting foam containing PFAS even when there is no fire. Wouldn’t it make sense to change that regulation? What exactly is the approved money going to be spent on? Do you know? Will the expenditure solve the problem? If all of the money went to French Island, how would that money remove PFAS. If PFAS continues to be put into the environment, how much more spending will be needed to clean up in the future? Mr. Shaw, spending money does not equal solving the problem and blaming Republicans while cheering Democrats is a community disservice. please give this more thought, and perhaps comment on an effective plan. That is, when someone actually has an effective plan for which to spend taxpayer money.

  3. Walden

    April 12, 2024 at 12:45 am

    The legislature requested the Governor’s administration present a plan for how the $125 million would be spent. The Gov refused to do so. That’s on the Governor.

    The City of La Crosse, having caused the pollution, has turned its back on Campbell residents.

    This PFAS column by the Dem lackeys at WIZN are holding neither party responsible.

    By the way, setting “acceptable levels” of PFAS does nothing to “improve the health of people across the country” because it provides for no means to clean up the pollution to meet those limits. Hate to say it but clean up may not even be possible given the current state of pollution remediation technology and no matter how many photos of Brad Pfaff you print.

  4. Here We Go Again

    April 12, 2024 at 12:49 am

    If the $125 million has been sitting in a bank account for 300 days it’s only worth $115 million in spending power today due to Bidenflation.

  5. Walden

    April 12, 2024 at 12:53 am

    The Governor can’t answer the legislature’s question “how will you spend the money”.

    WIZM offers no thoughts on “how will you spend the money” but complains about the money not being spent, regardless.

    Its like the Twilight Zone.

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