PFAS: the dangerous forever chemicals threatening our health

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of highly toxic human-made chemicals resistant to heat, water, and oil. For decades, PFAS have been used for industrial applications, in firefighting foam, and in consumer products. Often referred to as “forever chemicals” PFAS do not break down in the environment and have been linked to serious health effects.

What's happening now?

Now that Gov. Evers signed the state biennial budget, $125 million allocated to remediating PFAS contamination is locked in. But these next few weeks are critical. Changes to Senate Bill 312 – the legislation needed to utilize the PFAS money – are currently being drafted. These changes will determine how that money will be spent and what authority the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has to hold polluters accountable.

We need to ensure legislators support changes to the bill that protect the DNR’s authority to hold polluters accountable for the contamination they create. The health of our communities is on the line. Take action to keep pressure on the legislators drafting this bill.


How we got here

For years, conservation voters have been advocating for action on PFAS as more and more communities have discovered these chemicals in their drinking water. We have advocated for PFAS remediation funding in the state budget for the last three years and have built public pressure to demand clean water standards.

With Gov. Evers' leadership, Wisconsin passed the first-ever statewide PFAS water standards in 2022. The PFAS administrative rules are a significant step toward making sure all Wisconsinites have access to clean, safe drinking water. With historic levels of federal funding from Pres. Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, communities that test and find high levels of PFAS in their water now have the resources to make their water safer to drink.

The PFAS Interactive Data Viewer

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) built an interactive tool with information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) throughout Wisconsin. The PFAS Interactive Data Viewer combines publicly available information from multiple sources across the DNR’s website into one tool to allow users to more easily explore what is known about PFAS in Wisconsin.

Available information in the PFAS Interactive Data Viewer includes locations with known contamination, PFAS-related fish and game consumption advisories and waterbodies throughout Wisconsin sampled during targeted or routine monitoring.

Data from the DNR’s recent voluntary municipal drinking water system sampling program is also included. Through this program, almost 150 municipal water systems worked with the DNR to determine if PFAS is present in their drinking water. These systems provide water to more than 1.7 million people.



Urge your legislators to strengthen the current PFAS legislation.

Write your legislators today to make sure they support changes to the bill that ensures the DNR retains the authority to force polluters to clean up the contamination they create.


“Every time you reach to turn on the tap, fill your child’s bathtub, or brush their teeth, you are reminded your water is toxic.”

mother. advocate. voter.

Supervisor Lee Donahue, Town of Campbell

Read more.

Related Content

MEDIA ADVISORY: Green Bay residents sound alarm for key legislators to remove the poison pill from the PFAS bill

Wisconsin Conservation Voters and local residents are hosting a press conference on Wednesday, July 19 at 1 p.m. at The CityDeck, 301 N. Washington Street, in Green Bay to urge lawmakers to pass PFAS legislation properly and hold polluters accountable.


Wisconsin Conservation Voters calls on key legislators to remove the poison pill from the PFAS legislation

WCV 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.