Members of the Wisconsin Senate received more information about PFAS contamination in a Tuesday hearing at the Capitol in Madison. University of Wisconsin researcher Dr. Christy Remucal told lawmakers that most of Wisconsin’s contamination still stems from one source.
“Researchers have shown firefighting foam is one of the major sources of contamination and so my I think that’s probably the most likely source in this region as well.”
Remucal said there’s a reason why cleanup of PFAs contamination remains challenging and expensive. “We have a lot of different water treatment methods; engineered water treatment methods, and none of our usual approaches work on these chemicals. There’s not currently a good disruptive technology for PFAS. The good news is that there is a ton of research going on, both in the US and across the world on trying to come up with a better way to destroy these chemicals. But we’re not quite there yet.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has signed a bill in 2020, regulating firefighting foams which contain PFAS. The chemicals are found in many products, but the foam is a major source of contamination. Once in the water supply, the chemical compounds don’t break down. That can result in the human health issues, and damage to the ecosystems they contaminate.