City of La Crosse will ask the FAA for waiver to use PFAS-free fire fighting foam at the La Crosse Airport

The AFFF foam in use now is linked to the contamination of more than 100 Town of Campbell wells

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says the city will ask the FAA for a waiver to use PFAS-fire fighting foam it uses at the La Crosse Airport. 

Town of Campbell supervisors asked the city to replace the foam before Airfest.

The foam being used now is produced with PFAS; a group of man-made compounds linked to infertility, thyroid disease, and cancer.  This fall, the city tested for and found PFAS in more than 100 private wells. Since then, close to 100 other home owners have paid to their wells. All have tested positive for PFAS. 

The city’s consultant says the city is only responsible for the contamination south and east of the airport, and that there is another source of contamination polluting the other wells. “We are very certain based on the science, based on the groundwater flow, based on the storm water flow, that there is no scientific explanation for how PFAS would move from the airport to those areas, especially far west and far south,”, says Mayor Tim Kabat.

The city met with the DNR on March 31st. Mayor Kabat will submit its site investigation to the in the Wisconsin DNR in coming weeks. The DNR is also investigating. Last week it issued a drinking water advisory and is providing free, bottled water to any Town of Campbell well owners that wants it. The DNR  is also planning to expand testing to determine the extent of contamination and any other possible sources.