PFAS

Municipal Water Coalition 

The coalition is comprised of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Rural Water Association, Municipal Environmental Group – Wastewater Division, the Municipal Environmental Group – Water Division, and the Wisconsin Section of the American Water Works Association an alliance of groups representing municipal water and wastewater utilities. 

The Municipal Water Coalition’s goals are:

•    To work collaboratively with DNR on developing science based PFAS standards that consider relative cost, benefit, and feasibility of different PFAS removal and treatment options. 

•    To work collaboratively with DNR and industry stakeholders to find ways to reduce sources of PFAS before they enter public water or sewer systems. 

•    To educate the public about the background presence of PFAS in our homes and environment from common household products and make clear that drinking water systems and wastewater treatment facilities are not producers or users of PFAS, but only recipients of the compounds.

The Municipal Water Coalition consists of municipal utilities providing the most essential of public services - safe drinking water and wastewater treatment. We acknowledge and fully embrace our role as environmental and public health stewards committed to ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation services now and for future generations. To that end, we support legislative actions and regulations intended to ensure safe delivery of these critical services if they are based on credible science and developed after due deliberation. 

Municipal Water Coalition Communications

Comments on PFAS Related Administrative Rules Scope Statements to DNR Board (PDF) January 22, 2020

Municipal Water Coalition Announces Initiative to Address PFAS Sources (PDF) October 18, 2019 

Letter to DNR re: Advice to our Members (PDF) October 18, 2019 

Senate Bill 302/Assembly Bill 321 Letter to Committee Chairs (PDF) October 11, 2019
The legislation relates to: setting standards for certain contaminants and providing information relating to off-site disposal of certain waste. 

General Information on PFAS

American Water Works Association Briefing Paper on PFAS (PDF) 2019
Additional resources on the American Water Works PFAS website

The Wisconsin Legislative Council issue brief on PFAS October, 2019

Wisconsin DNR PFAS Technical Advisory Group 
The PFAS Technical Advisory Group is a working group formed in 2019 to discuss issues related to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Wisconsin. The group does not have an appointed membership; any interested party may attend and meetings are open to the public. The group will meet on a quarterly basis, with additional subgroup meetings scheduled as needed.

Governor’s PFAS Executive Order. Governor Evers issued an executive order instructing state agencies to address water contamination from PFAS. August 22, 2019

What are PFAS? Where can they be found? What are possible health concerns with PFAS? What are current exposure limits for PFAS in drinking water? Background on PFAS Contamination (PDF) July 24, 2019 

Update on Recent PFAS Regulatory and Legislative Activities (PDF) July 24, 2019

PFAS Talking Points (PDF) July 24, 2019 


The National League of Cities (NLC) partnered with the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (AAAS EPI Center) to offer a stakeholder engagement summit. Topics related to water pollution and management, including contamination from persistent chemicals such as PFAS were discussed. The summit included an opportunity to connect with scientific experts actively working to address PFAS, explore whether the existing scientific evidence is accessible and useful for decision-makers, and address the specific concerns of participants.

(Jerry Deschane attended this Summit in Washington DC on Feb. 7, 2020.) 

NLC Summit Resources.  

PFAS in the News

Policy board allows DNR to move ahead on regulating ’forever chemicals’
Curt Witynski, deputy director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, said the state needs to ensure the costs of following the new regulations are justified. Witynski cited a study from the American Water Works Association that estimates moving from the EPA’s 70 ppt health advisory to the proposed 20 ppt standard could result in a 1,000% increase in capital and operational costs. “New regulations will undoubtedly increase the costs to people who use waste water and drinking water systems,” Witynski said. Zellmer said the DNR could provide variable schedules for communities to comply with any new rules and even hardship variances for some systems. January 23, 2020 

"We’ll be doing this forever." Understanding the impact of PFAS 
“We wanted to take a look at what this contamination means for the surface water ... The first phase is focusing right in the Marinette and Peshtigo areas, sampling rivers and tributaries – the water and sediment,” Remucal explains. “The goal is to find out how much of the chemicals stick to the sediment versus staying in the water. Then we want to move a little bit bigger and go out on Green Bay and Lake Michigan and look at both water and sediment again, but on a really big body of water.” December 3, 2019 

Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District Commission greenlights plan, timeline for PFAS research and testing:  Plan will fill gaps in knowledge, provide meaningful data (PDF) November 26, 2019

DNR: Majority Of Wastewater Systems Decline To Test For PFAS 
"Chris Groh, executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Water Association, added there were too many unanswered questions as to what costs or liability treatment plants and local governments may face with testing. In an Oct. 18 letter, the association along with the Municipal Environmental Group and League of Wisconsin Municipalities said test results would not provide meaningful information "in the absence of certified labs and surface water standards."  WPR, October 30, 2019