Evers administration to pursue lawsuits against companies responsible for PFAS contamination

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Morry Gash

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a member of Wisconsin's Electoral College, casts his vote at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.

MADISON, Wis. — Governor Tony Evers says his administration is getting ready to sue companies responsible for PFAS contamination in Wisconsin.

In a release Friday, the governor’s office says it is working with Attorney General Josh Kaul and the Department of Administration to select an outside law firm to help the state pursue potential lawsuits against companies responsible for the dangerous man-made chemical, which is used in things like non-stick cookware, stain-resistant sprays and some firefighting foams.

The Madison Fire Department and others have stopped using foams containing PFAS in recent years.

“PFAS can have devastating effects not only on our state’s ecosystem and vital natural resources, but on the health of our families and communities across the state,” Gov. Evers said in a press release. “It is unacceptable and those companies responsible for the contamination of our land and water should be held accountable so we can move forward in cleaning up this pollution for the health and safety of our communities.”

The governor says a number of other states have also pursued lawsuits against corporations for PFAS contamination, including Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The announcement comes after recommendations from the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council’s plan were released in December, and a day after the DNR announced it found elevated levels of the chemical in several lakes and waterways in the Madison area.