December 18, 2020

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Statement on JCRAR Actions on Firefighting Foam Rules

MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) took actions today that suspended portions of Emergency Rule 2045 which regulated the use of firefighting foam containing perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This emergency rule resulted from 2019 Wisconsin Act 101 authored by Senator Cowles and former Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette): 

“After working with stakeholders in an attempt to address concerns, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) presented emergency rule language to the Natural Resources Board in October that was not only late, but left a number of ambiguities in language and interpretation. While, as the author, I believe this emergency rule appropriately reflected Legislative intent, I understand the desire from stakeholders to address these ambiguities, but believe these issues should have been addressed in the ongoing permanent rulemaking process.

“Per s. 227.26 (2) (h), Wis. Stats., as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy in the 2021-22 Legislative Session, I look forward to having the pending legislation referred to my committee to engage in discussions with all stakeholders to address concerns while upholding the intended outcome of the effort: cleaner water.”