02/19/2019- The EPA is calling it a “historic plan” outlining “concrete steps to protect public health,” but environmental activists say they don’t expect much to come of the EPA’s new PFAS Action Plan. The plan, released last week, details prevention, enforcement, research, and communication efforts pledged by the agency in response to extensive public concern and input they’ve received over the past year about PFAS contamination at dozens of sites across the county and here at home. Jeff Lamont retired after 28 years of environmental investigation and cleanup work and is now one of the Town of Peshtigo residents impacted by PFAS compounds released into area ground and surface water by Johnson Controls. He’s calling the EPA document an “action-less” plan that’s a carbon copy of a proposal they first introduced ten years ago.
Lamont has seen the PFAS levels in his own well nearly triple since 2017. He says even if the federal plan comes to fruition, it could be 8 to 10 years before the new cleanup standards take effect. Oversight of the local cleanup currently falls under state authority, but Lamont says he wants the state and Johnson Controls to step up their efforts.
US Senator Tammy Baldwin has also publicly criticized the Action Plan, saying it “falls short of taking the swift action that is needed,” and urges the EPA to set an enforceable drinking water standard for PFAS.