New recommended standards a step toward safeguarding water and health

Jun 21, 2019

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) made recommendations for water quality standards today for chemicals known to have detrimental effects on human health and the environment.

The recommendations address PFAS – a group of emerging contaminants often referred to as a “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment. PFAS are linked to health issues including cancer, liver damage, and thyroid disease. The recommendations have the potential to reduce public exposure to PFAS and other toxic chemicals.

Government Affairs Director Jennifer Giegerich had this to say about the recommendations:

“There haven’t been new water quality standards set in this state for nearly a decade. This is a great step toward protecting our health and water. These recommendations are long overdue and set the stage for a comprehensive plan to protect people from dangerous toxic chemicals like PFAS that are linked to cancer, liver damage, and thyroid disease. However, it is not enough to set a water quality standard without then creating a mechanism to enforce that standard. Now, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can create that mechanism. We also urge legislators to support the CLEAR Act (LRB 2297/2), which is a comprehensive solution to PFAS and can now incorporate these standards.”

For additional information

Contact Ryan Billingham, communications director, 608-208-1129 or