La Crosse mayoral candidate addresses PFAS contamination issue

TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (WKBT) – A La Crosse mayoral candidate is laying out a plan to fix a problem affecting dozens of residents on French Island.

Vicki Markussen was at the La Crosse Regional Airport Friday to address the hundreds of wells contaminated with a hazardous chemical called PFAS.

PFAS were used to produce the fire-fighting foam sprayed at the airport for decades.

The PFAS in the ground spread over the years following a plane crash in 1970, contaminating more than 100 private wells in the Town of Campbell.

The compounds are linked to infertility, thyroid disease and cancer.

The city of La Crosse is suing the manufacturers that produced the foam.

Markussen says in her plan, she will help provide clean water to all, immediately stop using the foam, and even expand the testing of the area where the plane crash occurred.

She says the residents impacted by PFAS contamination want a solution.

“As a mom, I would want answers,” Markussen said. “I wouldn’t want to be worried about my water. So we have to do what we can to quickly get them answers, to be transparent and to be working together.”

The city of La Crosse has taken responsibility for contaminating more than 100 private wells to the south and east of the airport.

Residents west of the airport, however, have also claimed their wells are contaminated.