02/24/2020- A pair of bipartisan bills aimed at addressing the local PFAS contamination issue did not make it to the Assembly floor for a full vote last week. Assembly Bills 842 and 843 would have allowed for a cancer cluster study and the sampling and analysis of PFAS in blood levels of residents in or near the contaminated areas in Marinette and the Town of Peshtigo, fund additional testing and research of PFAS chemicals and direct the DNR to establish emergency rules for the regulation of PFOA and PFOS. The legislation was drafted by Representative John Nygren and Senator Dave Hanson and although Nygren requested the package receive a vote by the full Assembly after being overwhelmingly passed at the committee level, the items did not appear on the final Assembly session’s agenda. However, Nygren says, an amendment to another bill passed did include some language addressing the PFAS issue.
Several constituents have voiced their concern that this new amended legislation doesn’t go far enough in combatting PFAS contamination or aiding in clean-up efforts, and while Nygren himself admits it was somewhat of a compromise, he also says he doesn’t believe 842 and 843 stood much of a chance of becoming law, and something is better than nothing.
The bill approved by the Assembly Friday must next pass the Senate before heading to Governor Tony Evers’ desk. The Senate is expected to meet once more next month.