Leslee Nelson: Address PFAS damage in Dane County

March 12, 2020  |  The Cap Times  |  Leslee Nelson



Dear Editor: I’m writing to urge you to deal with PFAS damage, “forever chemicals,” on the quality of life in Dane County. There’s no scientific doubt about the effects of PFAS on health. The proposed construction at Truax Field for the accommodation of F-35 planes will create a dramatic increase in the contamination of lakes and wells throughout Dane County. Well 15 has been closed, DNR has recommended curtailing the consumption of most fish to once a month, and people (and pets) need to shower after any contact with affected water. Currently this is Lake Monona and Starkweather Creek but it will surely expand.

The costs of PFAS are immense, both economic and in quality of life. Well filters can cost $1 million; income connected with recreation on and around our lakes will be severely reduced; dozens of businesses in the area affected by jet noise will be forced to close. Even the claims concerning job creation seem exaggerated: many of the jobs will go to Lockheed-Martin employees or add duties to those already assigned to Truax. Factoring in those realities makes it clear that the real economic impact will be strongly negative.

I recognize the increased impact closer to Truax, the reality is that this is about ALL of us. I have lived in Madison for 40 years and love our city and our lakes. I want them to be here, and livable, for all our children and grandchildren.

Leslee Nelson 


Learn more on Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) pollution