River Alliance urges Governor Evers to veto PFAS bill

Feb 26, 2024 | Drinking Water, Water Policy

River Alliance of Wisconsin urges Governor Evers to veto Senate Bill 312.

“PFAS is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed in a serious way,” said River Alliance of Wisconsin Executive Director Allison Werner. “Instead we’ve watched the state legislature play partisan games to score political points with special interest groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Senate Bill 312 is not the progress we need on PFAS.”

To be clear, Senate Bill 312 does not include an appropriation of funds. Without an appropriation, the bill does not spend the $125 million dollars that the Joint Finance Committee added to the state budget. It would take additional action by the legislature to approve the costs of the programs in SB 312. In addition, PFAS are widespread and expensive to clean up. $125 million is nowhere near enough to meet the current needs of homeowners and municipalities with polluted drinking wells.

If approved, SB 312 would make it harder for the state to hold those responsible for pollution accountable, and severely limit the amount of cleanup that can be done. SB 312 would also limit grant programs only to PFAS substances for which there are standards. As we have seen with the Department of Natural Resources’ past attempts to create groundwater standards for PFAS, this legislature has little interest in such standards being created, thus also limiting any potential impact of SB 312.

For those reasons, the Governor should veto SB 312.

For real progress on PFAS, the Joint Finance Committee should approve the DNR’s request from last December that would allow them to do more testing, get clean drinking water to those who need it, and begin cleanups. The state legislature can and should also let the DNR move ahead with improving groundwater standards on PFAS in drinking water.

“When we play a partisan game with our water, all Wisconsinites lose in the protection of our health and our environment,” said Werner.

 

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