(Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), author of legislation that would give the state the ability to more aggressively hold corporate polluters accountable for cleaning up damage caused by the release of chemical compounds into the environment, called the decision by the state Department of Health Services to set strict limits on the compounds PFOS and PFOA a major win in addressing the growing compound contamination crisis.
“This is a big day for our state because it is the first step in establishing strong protections for people like my constituents in the Town of Peshtigo and surrounding area whose lives have been impacted by the contamination caused by Tyco International,” said Hansen.
The Department of Health Services set a safe Health Advisory Limit of a combined 20 parts per trillion, much lower than the EPA limit of 70 parts per trillion.
“I have argued for some time now that the EPA limit of 70 parts per trillion is far above what a safe limit should be. I’m glad that the rigorous application of scientific study done by staff at DHS has resulted in this much stricter standard. It is my hope that the DNR will pursue implementing this new standard through the emergency rule-making process to make sure my constituents and all Wisconsinites are protected from this growing environmental crisis as quickly as possible.”
Hansen, and Senator Mark Miller are the lead authors of the CLEAR Act, legislation that would make it possible for the DNR to extend the new limits beyond ground and drinking water to include surface water, sediment, bio-solids and air emissions better enabling the state to hold corporate polluters responsible for the damage they cause to our environment.
“Now that we have the new limits I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pursue strong legislation like the CLEAR Act to make sure that the DNR has full use of all tools at its disposal to rid these and other dangerous compounds from our environment wherever they exist in dangerous amounts.”
Hansen said he will soon begin working on legislation aimed addressing the impact of these compounds on human health.