FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2020
MADISON — Gov. Evers today announced the release of a statewide PFAS Action Plan
developed by nearly 20 state agencies to address growing public health and environmental concerns regarding PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in Wisconsin. The plan includes 25 action items centered around three guiding principles: environmental justice, health equity, and pollution prevention.
Wisconsin’s PFAS Action Plan was developed at the direction of Gov. Evers, who in 2019 issued Executive Order #40, requesting that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lead a PFAS coordinating council, charged with creating a plan of action to address the environmental and public health risks posed by PFAS contamination. The Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) was created to fulfill this order, comprising representatives from nearly 20 state agencies and the University of Wisconsin System.
Wisconsin is now one of less than a dozen states in the nation to have developed a plan to address the use of and contamination caused by PFAS.
“I am proud of the efforts from our state agencies and the contributions by the public to connect the dots and develop this comprehensive blueprint for our state to address these forever chemicals,” Gov. Evers said. “I look forward to evaluating the plan and the dozens of recommendations provided to find how we can best move our state forward in addressing PFAS for the health of our families, communities, and wildlife.”
PFAS are a group of over 5,000 human-made chemicals that were invented in the 1930s. They were introduced into industrial manufacturing and commercial use in the 1940s, with peak production occurring between 1970 and 2000. PFAS are primarily found in temperature-resistant and water- and oil-repellent products, including nonstick cookware, food packaging, waterproof clothing, stain-resistant fabrics, and certain types of firefighting foam.
PFAS do not break down in the environment and have been discovered at levels of concern in groundwater, surface water and drinking water across Wisconsin. PFAS are known to bioaccumulate in the tissues of fish and wildlife. They also accumulate in the human body and pose a number of risks to human health.
Gov. Evers and WisPAC are grateful for the input offered by individuals, organizations, and advisory groups throughout 2020. Going forward, the PFAS Action Plan will serve as a blueprint for the state in its efforts to tackle environmental and public health concerns posed by PFAS contamination.
To learn more about the work of the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council and read the complete action plan, please visit the DNR website: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Contaminants/WisPAC.html.