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New PFAS Administrative Rules Now In Effect

woman drinking a glass of water New PFAS administrative rules are now in effect as of Aug. 1. Photo credit:

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that new administrative rules for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are now in effect.  

Two rules set regulatory standards for PFAS in drinking water and surface water and the third rule sets requirements for using PFAS-containing firefighting foam. The rules will provide a better understanding of where PFAS are located in Wisconsin, require actions to correct contamination when it is found and reduce additional contamination.

If the PFAS compounds are found at levels higher than allowed by the standards in either drinking water or regulated discharges to surface water, steps to reduce the contamination will be required.

The third rule replaces the emergency rule for PFAS-containing firefighting foam that has been in effect since December 2020. It was developed as part of s. 299.48, Wis. Stats., which prohibits the use of foam with intentionally added PFAS except in emergency situations or during testing purposes. The rule provides information regarding appropriate storage, containment, treatment and disposal.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These contaminants have made their way into the environment, and humans and animals can develop negative health impacts when exposed to them.

Implementing these rules addresses priority actions identified by the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) in the Wisconsin PFAS Action Plan. WisPAC is comprised of representatives from nearly 20 state agencies working to address public health and environmental concerns regarding certain PFAS substances.

More information about PFAS and the rules for drinking water, surface water and firefighting foam are available on the DNR’s website.