A lawsuit filed on Wednesday hopes you do not have to pay the price for another company’s problem regarding “forever chemicals” showing up in your water. Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul shared the news at events held in LaCrosse and Green Bay on Wednesday that the state would be suing three Wisconsin manufacturers and 15 other defendants for their role in PFAS contamination of local waterways, lands, and natural resources. Two of those businesses are Tyco Fire Products and Johnson Controls, which produces firefighting foam in the Marinette/Peshtigo area. In 2017, high concentrations of PFAS were found in the water in those communities, which has since sparked several lawsuits. The chemical compounds that makeup PFAS have been linked to types of kidney and testicular cancers, lower birth rates, and other medical concerns. Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin Executive Director Dean Hoegger says a good next step would be to address the allowable levels of PFAS in the water supply, which he believes are too high.
Hoegger added that PFAS contamination is the most immediate threat to human health. Groups like the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to reduce the Department of Natural Resources’ authority over the issue will only worsen it. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a judge ruled earlier this year that the DNR lacked the power to set limits on PFAS pollution.