Editor’s Note:  Unfortunately, it isn’t all perfect even in places within the Driftless, but the good news is we are tackling the problem.

Clean water advocates, Rep. Ron Kind meet in PFAS hotspot to discuss clean drinking water solutions

FRENCH ISLAND – Yesterday, Congressman Ron Kind joined community members, elected officials, and conservation and labor advocates to discuss ongoing efforts to address PFAS pollution in Wisconsin’s drinking water.

The event highlighted several solutions including federal, state, and local initiatives including President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The plan’s ambitious investments will make much needed updates to water infrastructure and remediate PFAS exposure in Wisconsin’s water supply. In doing so, the plan will create good paying jobs and make our communities safer.

The American Jobs Plan invests $111 billion into restoring the nation’s water infrastructure – this will help manage stormwater during catastrophic disasters, improve water storage and distribution capabilities that can help mitigate drought, and much more.

This plan will make serious strides to ensure safe water for all Wisconsinites, with $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate PFAS in drinking water while investing in rural small water systems and household well and wastewater systems.

In April, Rep. Ron Kind, along with 26 other members of Congress, helped introduce comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that aims to protect all Americans and our environment from PFAS. The package establishes a national drinking water standard for select PFAS chemicals, designates as hazardous to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up contaminated sites across the country, as well as list under the Clean Water Act, limits industrial discharges, and provides $200 million annually to assist water utilities and wastewater treatment.

Government Affairs Director Jennifer Giegerich had this to say about the event:

“The reality is, in communities all across this country we are not testing for PFAS. While there is a serious issue here in French Island, we know of 60 other communities in Wisconsin, most notably Peshtigo and Marinette, where many people do not know if their water is safe to drink. The Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan addresses these forever chemicals by providing investments in rural water systems, household wells, and wastewater systems.

We are proud to be in coalition with so many groups across the state working on making sure our drinking water is safe. We encourage voters to contact their representatives in Congress to support this robust and necessary investment in the health of our children and our communities. We’re grateful to Rep. Kind for his leadership on this issue and we look forward to working with him to make sure we have support in congress for the American Jobs Plan.”

Watch an excerpted video of the event from Wisconsin Conservation Voters here.

CONTACT: Ryan Billingham, Communications Director, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, 608-208-1129 (office), 608-213-6972 (mobile/text), or ryan@conservationvoters.org