11/13/2019- It’s being called the worst environmental crisis to ever hit Marinette County and now County Supervisors are asking the state legislature to do something about it. The County Board Tuesday considered a resolution prompting the DNR to take action to establish standards for PFAS substances across a variety of mediums. That document was a watered-down version of the original, which specifically called for support of the CLEAR Act introduced by Senator Dave Hansen, but which the Development Committee previously decided they did not feel comfortable promoting because of its perceived partisan nature. However, following recent collaboration from lawmakers on both sides of the party line on the PFAS contamination issue, dozens of residents filled the County Board room urging supervisors to support both Hansen’s CLEAR Act, as well as Representative John Nygren’s Assembly Bill 323 which generally prohibits the use and test of Class B firefighting foams containing PFAS. Supervisor Don Pazynski was in favor and says it’s about doing what’s best for the community they serve.
“When we seek our office, we do so on a nonpartisan basis, but henceforth, whenever an issue comes before this body, our obligation is to evaluate on the basis of only one criteria and that is ‘Is this good for Marinette County?’ That’s where partisan stops. We do not have to look at and evaluate a bill on other extraneous issues.”
But Supervisor Bonnie Popp says the lawmaking process is inherently partisan and the board is acting in direct conflict of their nonpartisan legal standing by supporting these measures. She informed the Board she would immediately resign if the Board took a formal stance on the two bills.
“We are being asked to do what is wrong- to go outside of our legal status- and take a position on a partisan issue. I cannot do what is legally wrong.”
An amendment to rewrite the resolution to reflect support of both the CLEAR Act and AB 323 was proposed. Both the amendment and the motion to approve the new resolution passed on a 28 to 1 vote.