Mayor’s office responds to PFAS levels in foam at Olbrich Park boat launch

Mayor’s office responds to PFAS levels in foam at Olbrich Park boat launch

The office of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway responded to PFAS levels in the foam at Olbrich Park’s boat launch Thursday.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that high concentrations of PFAS were found in the foam samples at the boat launch on Oct. 25

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of man-made chemicals that can affect health at high concentrations.

A statement from the mayor’s office said signs at the boat launch and the upstream tell the public that elevated levels of PFAS have been seen in Starkweather Creek. Officials have advised people to make sure “they or their pets do not accidentally swallow any water or foam” from within the creek.

The statement said Rhodes-Conway called the discovery “concerning.”

“I’ve asked City Parks Division staff to increase monitoring of the boat launch and to report any cases of foam they identify to the DNR. City staff are also working with the County and the State on a coordinated response to PFAS pollution in Starkweather Creek,” the statement said.

City staff will work with Public Health Madison and Dane County to host an informational meeting on PFAS contamination in Starkweather Creek next month. An exact time and date will be announced once finalized.

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