Baldwin talks PFAS contamination strategies with Town of Campbell residents

TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (WKBT) — U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin spoke with Town of Campbell residents and officials  about how PFAS contamination affects their lives, as hundreds of families on French Island have been forced to drink bottled water for more than a year.

The federal government is investing $3.7 million to help treat the city of La Crosse’s municipal wells, but that won’t help Campbell families.

“It’s a huge disruption to life, to learn that your drinking water has been contaminated,” the Wisconsin Democrat said.

Families are still waiting.

“We’re concerned about the situation with the water contamination,” said resident Mary Wetterling.

Drinking bottled water because the water coming from their taps isn’t safe. Some have invested in water filtration systems, but those are expensive.

“We don’t know how long Culligan is going to be able to keep giving us good water,” Wetterling said.

PFAS are man-made forever chemicals that linked to infertility, thyroid disease and cancer.

The Town of Campbell is not alone — a handful of La Crosse’s municipal wells are also contaminated and out of service.

Donahue and Associates, a wastewater engineering firm, is working on several water filter options for La Crosse.

“It’s important to have a short-term emergency plan, a sort of mid-term plan and then obviously a long-term vision to cleaning the water up so it is no longer a worry,” Baldwin said.

Campbell has not received any federal funds, and residents shared their frustration with Baldwin.

Town supervisors and citizens know: The town doesn’t have the resources to resolve the issue.

“Any money that we get is going to have to come from the federal government,” Wetterling said.

The clock is ticking.

“At my age, we’re running out of time,” Wetterling said.

Baldwin said she hopes to address the private well contamination with her Healthy H2O Act. It probably will be a part of the farm bill, which she hopes to push forward next year.

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