2022 - Statewide Victory

Wisconsin adopts first-ever statewide PFAS protections

For the first time ever, Wisconsin will have PFAS-specific water standards to protect the health of Wisconsinites. Gov. Tony Evers demonstrated his leadership and dedication to the health of our communities when he began this process to bring drinking water standards to our state.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of highly toxic human-made chemicals resistant to heat, water, and oil. PFAS are linked to many negative health effects, including cancer, thyroid disease, and growth impairment. Often referred to as “forever chemicals,” PFAS do not break down in the environment and are being discovered in an increasing number of communities around Wisconsin. Prior to the adoption of these rules, there were no requirements for testing and cleaning up PFAS pollution.

Wisconsin Conservation Voters’ members and impacted community leaders have worked for more than two years to achieve the clean water protections guaranteed by the PFAS administrative rules. They volunteered hours, signed petitions, showed support at events, and testified at hearings to urge leaders to take this action. These PFAS standards could not have passed without their work.

With the passage of PFAS standards for drinking water this past spring, Wisconsin took a giant step forward in protecting your water from these highly toxic chemicals. Now, as those standards take effect and municipalities begin testing for PFAS in drinking water, we are beginning to see just how widespread the problem is, and how much more work we need to do to protect the health of Wisconsinites. Recently, the DNR launched an interactive tool with information about PFAS throughout Wisconsin.

The PFAS Interactive Data Viewer combines information from multiple sources into one tool to allow users to more easily understand what is known about PFAS in Wisconsin. The tool includes locations with known contamination, PFAS-related fish and game consumption advisories, and waterbodies sampled during monitoring.