Public Hearing on Great Lakes/Commercial Rivers Historic Fill

Last week the League's Government Affairs Director, Toni Herkert, was joined by Sheboygan Mayor Ryan Sorenson to testify on the Great Lakes and Commercial Rivers Historic Fill legislation, SB 900 at a public hearing before the Senate Government Operations Committee. (See the photo on the League's Facebook page here.) Josh VanLieshout and Marty Olejniczak representing the City of Sturgeon Bay also testified in favor of the bill. For more information see the League's Testimony from last week and our April Municipality Magazine on Land Use (pg.11-13).

The Assembly Companion bill, AB 849, will also be heard this Wednesday, February 16th at 1:30 pm in the Assembly Environment Committee.

PFAS Update

Voluntary Drinking Water PFAS Sampling Project for Municipal Systems. The Department of Natural Resources has launched a new, voluntary program for communities that are interested in learning whether their municipal water supply is impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). ​​​Voluntary Drinking Water PFAS Sampling Project For Municipal Systems | | Wisconsin DNR. Through funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state of Wisconsin will fund and support local communities that wish to sample for PFAS. If PFAS are detected at a Hazard Index value that raises concern (i.e., 0.5 or higher) during the initial sampling, follow-up sampling may occur that will include the additional PFAS compounds with health recommendations. Bear in mind that public notification of the test results will also be required.

PFAS Firefighting Foam. On February 9th, the Joint Committee on Finance voted to release $1 million in funds that were allocated in the 2021-23 State Budget to create a statewide program to collect and properly dispose of unused and unwanted PFAS-containing firefighting foam, also known as aqueous film forming foam or AFFF. According to a study conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that was authorized and funded by the 2019-21 State Budget, 64% of fire departments have AFFF resulting in at least 63,000 gallons and up to 96,000 gallons of AFFF scattered around the state. Over 30,000 gallons of this foam is expired or otherwise unwanted yet is still being stored. For more information contact the DNR at [email protected]

Upcoming DNR Board Action on PFAS. On February 23rd the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) will take up staff recommendations to advance three draft PFAS administrative rules including:
  • NR 105 Surface Water Quality Criteria Changes - Final EIA
  • NR 140 Groundwater Quality Standards (Cycle 10)         
  • NR 809 Safe Drinking Water Standards   

See the League's comments on all of the rules on our Rulemaking and Regulatory Matters webpage.