WBA Debate Topic: Safe Water, PFAS

From Racine to Wausau to Marinette, people are concerned about the safety of their drinking water because the water contains excessive levels of manmade and industrial chemicals called PFAS, which have been linked to illnesses and conditions including cancer and infertility. For example, hundreds of families on French Island in the La Crosse area have been supplied with bottled water for the past year because of high levels of PFAS in their water. The cost of supplying clean water has been shifted to families and local governments. What should Congress do to provide financial relief to towns and families affected by this position?

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, “forever chemicals” (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • One common characteristic of concern of PFAS is that many break down very slowly and can build up in people, animals, and the environment over time (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • La Crosse committee approves $25,000 in bottle water funding for Campbell residents affected by PFAS (WIZM)
    • “For more than a year, hundreds of residents in the town of Campbell, Wis. on French Island have been forced to use bottled water because of PFAS contamination in the ground water.” 
  • In February, Wausau metro area communities forming plans to test for PFAS (WSAW)
  • In June, Wausau PFAS committee votes on $16.8 million solution to remove PFAS long-term (WSAW)