PFAS contamination in ground and surface water is becoming an issue other parts of Wisconsin besides our local area. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Thursday announced the presence of elevated levels of PFAS in surface water samples taken from Madison-area lakes and along the Yahara River.

The DNR first found elevated levels of PFAS in Lake Monona and Starkweather Creek in 2019, which resulted in a new PFAS fish consumption advisory for those two water bodies. Due to public safety concerns, the DNR collected additional surface water samples in 2020 on lakes Mendota, Monona, and others.  The sample results indicate that PFAS compounds are present in all of the Madison area lakes.

There are known discharges of PFAS compounds to soil, surface water and groundwater on the Madison airport property likely stemming from multiple responsible parties. The DNR is actively working with responsible parties to discuss next steps.

The latest report has prompted two Madison area lawmakers, Senator Melissa Agard and Representative Samba Baldeh both Democrats to call for prompt passage of the CLEAR Act, introduced in the last legislature, which establishes acceptable levels and standards, monitoring requirements, and response actions of PFAS chemicals that are harmful to our health.