La Crosse committee approves spending another $150,000 related to PFAS probe near airport


LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The La Crosse Finance & Personnel Committee approved a resolution Thursday to  appropriate $150,000 for additional costs related to PFAS well contamination near the La Crosse Regional Airport.
The appropriations, which the committee approved without discussion and are subject to Common Council approval next week, are for $50,000 apiece from three funds in the city budget.
One, from the Contingency Fund, would cover costs of a change order to continue investigation of the contamination of the city’s wells 23 and 24near the airport, as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommended in a letter in 2019.
Another $50,000, from the Airport Fund, would pay for the other portion of the change order. The remaining $50,000, also from the Contingency Fund, to pay Boardman & Clark LLP’s legal services related to contamination from the polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as “forever chemicals” because they break down so slowly and their pollution is so long-lasting.
The chemicals are from foam used to fight airplane fires, as well as drills the La Crosse Fire Department conducted near the La Crosse Regional Airport.
Last month, the city submitted its interim site investigation into PFAS contamination on French Island to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The DNR is reviewing the 123-page report.
More than 200 private wells in the Town of Campbell have tested positive for PFAS, which are linked to infertility, thyroid disease and cancer. The DNR is testing more wells in the area.
The DNR and private companies are providing many residents in the Town of Campbell with bottled water.