Rep. Shankland looks to colleagues to tackle PFAS health concerns

By Jerel Ballard, WSAW

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) Assembly District Representative Katrina Shankland says the state of Wisconsin needs to take more action against the growing levels of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFAS).

On Wednesday, Shankland spoke at in Madison about regulating firefighting foams that contain PFAS as a beginning measure to help tackle the issue. PFAS, which are man-made chemicals that can cause health concerns – including immune issues and cancer, have been a growing concern for the state of Wisconsin. Back in August, Governor Evers signed an executive order directing the Department of Natural Resources to address the issue.

"What we have discovered about firefighter foam is when it is discharged into the water system, it can contaminate people’s drinking water,” stated Shankland. “We also know that when applied as a biosolid it could contaminate the land."

Shankland says the proposed bill, which has seen bipartisan support so far, would limit when firefighter foam can be used and how much.

She plans to vote in favor of the bill once it reaches the floor of the legislature, but she says the bill does not do enough to tackle the issue of PFAS facing Wisconsin. She hopes this starts an important conversation to push the issue forward.