Wisconsin Conservation Voters calls on key legislators to remove the poison pill from the PFAS legislation
Jul 18, 2023
WISCONSIN – Wisconsin Conservation Voters launched a digital campaign today calling on Sens. Eric Wimberger, Robert Cowles, and Mary Felzkowski to remove the polluter loophole from SB 312, the legislation that could determine how $125 million in state budget PFAS funding is distributed. These senators play a key role in addressing this issue, because they represent communities with severe PFAS contamination.
“Following the lead of impacted communities is our top priority. With this campaign, we want to ensure that Sens. Wimberger, Cowles, and Felzkowski are hearing what we’re hearing: communities need funding to address PFAS contamination in their drinking water, but can’t afford to let polluters off the hook from cleaning up the mess they create,” said Government Affairs Manager Peter Burress.
It is vital these legislators prioritize the more than 120 Wisconsin communities whose health is at risk due to PFAS as soon as possible. This class of highly-toxic, human-made chemicals is tied to cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, increased risk of thyroid disease, and growth, learning, and behavior impairment.
As it is currently written, SB 312 would create critically important PFAS grant programs for communities dealing with this health threat. At the same time, SB 312’s current draft would undermine the Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR’s) authority to test for PFAS, begin remediation, and hold polluters accountable for the mess they create.
This authority, called the Spills Law, has been the most important tool available to the DNR to deal with PFAS contamination thus far. If we lose this tool, Wisconsin will lose the ability to respond to emerging health contaminants and quickly protect communities.
“We are encouraged by how Sens. Wimberger, Cowles, and Felzkowski have continued to engage in public conversations with impacted communities, and trust they will do the right thing and remove the poison pill from the PFAS bill to protect the health of Wisconsinites,” said Burress. “We have heard from people across the state about their concerns turning on their tap and having safe drinking water. This is a health crisis impacting 2.5 million people – this PFAS legislation has to prioritize them.”
Ryan Billingham, Communications Director, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, 608-208-1129 (office), 608-213-6972 (mobile/text), or firstname.lastname@example.org