PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are manufactured chemicals that are found in many everyday products, including nonstick pans, cleaning products, paints, and firefighting foam. PFAS are present in the bloodstream of 98 percent of Americans. Competing studies debate whether or not PFAS have negative health effects, and, if they do, at what level they are harmful. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has declined to regulate PFAS in drinking water. Meanwhile, some states are choosing to implement regulations independently. Hamilton Consulting closely monitors regulatory developments related to PFAS both at the state and federal level. Click on the links below for more information on PFAS regulations.


State Regulations

Legislature: Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) have circulated LRB 1893 (memo) related to PFAS standards. The bill requires the Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS) Services to establish state health-based groundwater quality standards for two types of PFAS: PFOA and PFOS. DHS would have to establish the new standards within 90 days of the enactment of the bill. Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has also convened a Task Force on Water Quality.

GovernorGov. Tony Evers’s state budget proposal includes two scientist positions at the Department of Natural Resources to work on PFAS issues. Additionally, Evers proposes $150,000 GPR to develop a model to identify and prioritize sites with likely PFAS contamination and $50,000 to conduct a survey on emergency response use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam.

Regulatory: The state Department of Natural Resources is convening a PFAS technical advisory group, meeting on a quarterly basis starting in February 2019.

Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality Meets to Hear Agency Testimony March 22, 2019

DNR, citing PFAS, scales back Voluntary Liability Exemption Program January 29, 2019


Federal Regulations

The House Oversight Committee Subcommittee on Environment held a public hearing on PFAS on March 6, hearing testimony from U.S. Reps Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania), EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Water Dave Ross, and Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Environment Maureen Sullivan.

EPA announces PFAS plan  February 14, 2019

EPA won’t regulate PFAS  February 5, 2019