Environment - PFAS

Environment PFAS

Foam found on the banks of Starkweather Creek showed high concentrations of a contaminant called PFAS (photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

PFAS are considered ‘Forever Chemicals” which are being discovered in many parts of Wisconsin including Marinette, Rhinelander and Madison. 

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s.

PFAS do not occur naturally and are widespread in the environment. They are found in people, wildlife and fish all over the world. Some PFAS can stay in peoples’ bodies a long time and do not break down easily in the environment.

Does Your Community Water System Test For PFAS?

Probably Not, Finds WXPR Investigation

Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 1,398 Sites in 49 States

Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) GUIDE TO AVOIDING PFAS CHEMICALS


Environment PFAS - Marinette & Peshtigo

Environment - PFAS - Marinette & Peshtigo

The manufacture, testing and use of firefighting chemicals cause PFAS contamination

PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area

PFAS contamination has been detected in the Marinette and Peshtigo area in soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, private drinking water wells and biosolids.

Does Your Community Water System Test For PFAS? Probably Not, Finds WXPR Investigation


WI DNR Logo WI DNR Logo  


Gov. Evers’ Executive Order #40 directed the DNR to create the PFAS Coordinating Council, now known as the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC), in partnership with other state agencies. WisPac will develop and coordinate statewide initiatives to address the growing public health and environmental concerns regarding PFAS. Meetings are open to the public.

Wisconsin DNR Resources

If you have questions call 888-626-3244 or email

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry:


Stop Poisoning Our Water-Local group dedicated to information & remediation lnk S.O.H2O

Dark Waters Movie that documents how Rob Bilott, a corporate defense attorney, took on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution. Very strong parallels to what is happening in Marinette/Peshtigo

Wisconsin DHS Resources

EPA website


    Four Videos from DNR Listening Session:

Eagle Herald re 12/19 listening session

Eagle Herald -JCI details cleanup efforts

Video 12/19 Lisa Miller[0]=68.ARDhEu4bsb4Qz_wL9XToQhVq7lnrsa-_CULjx9u2vpSPdBN0OH0Gx-yvsKVkZE5s2viu4G4SDi-jl6b78vklezkZJI1tsCGNdFXQ_5owReJmxYwvrL11ROzNAb5IOBd6F2MAGhKaq5qA1u_kIEll4P7ulmBokgxfPqZ-bR12fv-zbrPgVACW6uen6uBtMQ1ChmzkodRN2Y2y9xh61tTJ8Q4HjuhCDg9njeuslD0WiNS0yXnHthTPiQgmuI2fj1unlPVm-MvJGAH4wwCivEXGN4WqPWLW1-kkm4sqPeYQw_zPmuF3pBVbHsH0Xx691H4IM4MqUKA2PjXr0qBt1QHhBGrzPANvCIRi&__tn__=K-R

Video 12/19 Dale Schroeder

Concerns rise over tainted sewage sludge spread on croplands

MA Sets New Limits On Toxic PFAS Chemicals

High levels of arsenic found in bottled water sold at Walmart, Target, Whole Foods

Our family’s “Dark Waters” story

How the EPA and the Pentagon Downplayed a Growing Toxic Threat

‘Dark Waters’ Tells the True Story of the Lawyer Who Took DuPont to Court and Won

Madison, Fond Du Lac Fire Departments Stop Using Firefighting Foam Containing PFAS

Environment - PFAS -Rhinelander

Environment - PFAS - Rhinelander

Rhinelander has had to close two drinking water wells due to PFAS Contamination. Rhinelander Mayor attended the Dec 18 DNR Listening Session in Marinetter.

Does Your Community Water System Test For PFAS? Probably Not, Finds WXPR Investigation


(Note – limited access for non-subscribers)

Guild updates city residents on well testing

Lab owner concerned about administrator’s interpretation of test results

DNR questions language used by city administrator in notice to water customers

Elmore: There’s no reason to question the accuracy of the PFAS sampling results

Mayor confirms second well taken out of service

Mayor releases DHS letter supporting closure of Well 8

Fish samples taken from the Wisconsin River

DNR issues directive to airport in connection with PFAS contamination

DNR: Rhinelander airport the ‘most likely source’ of PFAS contamination

Commission hires consulting firm to assist with PFAS investigation

Airport commission grapples with PFAS puzzle


PFAS Found In Rhinelander Well, Drinking Water Safe, Crescent Spring to be Tested…/pfas-found-rhinelander-well-drinking-water-safe- crescent-spring-be-tested

Jul 23, 2019 … City officials released information today to Rhinelander Water Utility customers related to a recently published health advisory regarding PFAS ...

Foam Tests On Peshtigo River Reveal PFAS Levels Of 17,000 Parts per Trillion…/foam-tests-peshtigo-river-reveal-pfas-levels-17000- parts-trillion

Oct 31, 2019 … Levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in foam samples on the Peshtigo River spiked well above what may be safe, the DNR …

Rhinelander Keeps Water Well Active As Levels Of PFAS-Family Chimicals Rise…/rhinelander-keeps-water-well-active-levels-pfas- family-chemical-rise

Nov 7, 2019 … This summer, tests showed Rhinelander’s Municipal Well 7 was contaminated with PFAS chemicals. However, the most recent tests show no …

DNR: New PFAS Rules Likely To Have ‘Significant’ Economic Impact…/dnr-new-pfas-rules-likely-have-significant- economic-impact

Nov 19, 2019 … The DNR admitted putting new rules on PFAS in groundwater, drinking water, and surface water will have a “significant” economic impact on …

PFAS Compounds No Longer Detected In Rhinelander Well; Guild Raises Idea of Mistaken Original Tests…/pfas-compounds-no-longer-detected-rhinelander- well-guild-raises-idea-mistaken-original-tests

Nov 6, 2019 … The latest testing on Rhinelander’s Municipal Well 7 showed no detection of the two best-known per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) …

Wisconsin Solid Waste Professionals: ‘We Don’t Generate PFAS Foam’, Form Coalition to Address Issue…/wisconsin-solid-waste-professionals-we-don-t- generate-pfas-form-coalition-address-issue

Dec 11, 2019 … Wisconsin landfills are concerned they’re taking the blame for PFAS contamination. But a new coalition of solid waste professionals points out …

PFAS Found in Crescent Town Spring: Water Not Safe to Drink…/pfas-found-crescent-town-spring-water-not-safe- drink

Aug 19, 2019 … Now that the test results have come back as positive for high levels of PFAS, the recommendation not to drink the water at the Crescent Town …

Michigan Develops Comprehensive, Enforceable PFAS Regulations…/michigan-develops-comprehensive-enforceable-pfas -regulations

Oct 28, 2019 … Wisconsin’s neighbor will soon become one of a few states with enforceable PFAS regulations on the books. Michigan could have strict …

DNR Defends Accuracy Of Rhinelander PFAS Tests, Asks City To Make Test Results Publicly Available…/dnr-defends-accuracy-rhinelander-pfas-tests-asks- city-make-test-results-publicly-available

Nov 19, 2019 … Note: this story has been updated to include comments from the DNR’s Kyle Burton in a Tuesday interview. Rhinelander City Administrator …

Fire-Fighting Foam? An Old Dump? Exploring Possible Sources of ……/fire-fighting-foam-old-dump-exploring-possible- sources-pfas-near-rhinelander

Sep 19, 2019 … But a month ago, testing found the water had high levels PFHxS, a type of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) drawing attention in …