Oversight Watch: GOP Senators release PFAS relief bill that would aid communities, restrict DNR overreach

May 19, 2023 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

Anthony LoCoco

A note from IRG CIO Director Anthony LoCoco: 

Senators Eric Wimberger and Rob Cowles proposed legislation this week designed to address harm produced by PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” present in many products which can make their way into drinking water and are linked to adverse human health effects.

Although the legislation focuses on providing grants to help local governmental entities test drinking water supplies, it’s important not to miss the accompanying restrictions on DNR authority. The law would set limits on DNR testing for PFAS without adequate reason, public disclosure of testing results by DNR, and DNR’s ability to take enforcement action if state or federal PFAS limits have not been exceeded. In other words, it aims to address the PFAS problem without giving DNR a blank check to harass business owners.

In a statement Senator Cowles noted that the bill is designed to address “real concerns” from “homeowners, local government leaders, business owners, and people who enjoy our great outdoors.”