Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is suing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, aiming to curtail testing of PFAS in industrial wastewater.
PFAS are a family of forever chemicals linked to a number of adverse health effects. The man-made chemicals are endemic to waterways throughout the state, and have been detected in all of Madison’s lakes.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is the state’s largest industry lobbying group. In a suit filed earlier this week, they argued that the DNR does not have the authority to test wastewater at certain facilities. They say that testing and releasing information on those facilities would stigmatize them as “polluters.”
The case was filed in a Jefferson County Circuit Court on Monday. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that judge William Hue initially issued a ban on testing at certain facilities while the case is under consideration. Earlier today, he lifted a portion of that ban, allowing the DNR to resume testing, but barring them from releasing data to the public.
This is the second time WMC has challenged the DNR over PFAS in just over a month. In February, they sued the state environmental agency over requirements to investigate and clean up PFAS.
Meanwhile, here in Madison, local officials continue the process of cleaning up PFAS contamination at the Truax National Guard Base, next to the Dane County Airport. Speaking at a Common Council Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Christine Baumel said that the city, county and Air National Guard are poised to submit a mitigation plan to the DNR in about two weeks.
“The DNR has asked us — us meaning the county, regional airport, city and the air national guard — to make and submit a plan by April 16th of how to stop PFAS from entering Starkweather Creek on an interim basis,” she said.
(PHOTO: Marko Blazevic)