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Advocates petition for PFAS groundwater standards

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TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (WXOW) -- After Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board approved PFAS standards for surface water and municipal water systems earlier this year, two Wisconsin organizations have now petitioned for PFAS to be listed as a contaminant under Wisconsin's Groundwater Law. 

PFAS, also known as the 'forever chemicals', have been used in a variety of products like non-stick surfaces and firefighting foam. 

Studies have shown that the chemicals are linked to severe health conditions such as cancers, thyroid disease and decreased immune response. 

The two organizations, S.O.H2O and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin are represented by the non-profit law center Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) for the petition. 

MEA stated that nearly one million Wisconsinites with wells rely on groundwater as their main source of drinking water. 

"We believe the state has a responsibility to act to protect those families and that's why we're asking the DNR to restart that process and to move as quickly as possible so that those families get protection they also deserve it," MEA Executive Director Tony Wilkin Gibert said. "It's not just people who get their water from the city or from municipal systems that deserve to be protected from PFAS compounds - it's all Wisconsinites."

The groups are asking the DNR to list the PFAS chemicals PFOA, PFOS, PFBS and the GenX chemical as contaminants.

If the petition is granted it would go to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services which would recommend standards for PFAS in groundwater. The DNR would then propose rules to adopt the suggested standards. 

Click here to view the submitted petition. 

MORE: WXOW PFAS coverage

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