Governor Tony Evers’ administration is suing three Wisconsin manufacturers and 15 other chemical companies over their use of PFAS, which the state says has contaminated water and natural resources across Wisconsin.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Dane County Circuit Court, alleges the companies knew the intended use of their products would negatively impact public health and the environment. He says the state and taxpayers will have to spend billions of dollars to address the contamination and that “no corner of the state has been spared.”
The lawsuit seeks to recover all costs associated with remediating PFAS, as well as the cost of testing for the contaminant in communities that have not done so. It also seeks damages for loss of use and damage to natural resources.
Evers and state Attorney General Josh Kaul announced the lawsuit Wednesday morning during a news conference on the French island, where hundreds of residents have relied on bottled water for more than a year. year because their private wells are contaminated with PFAS.
“Wisconsins shouldn’t have to foot the bill for polluters who should have known what they were doing was wrong all along. That’s why we’re demanding responsible polluters pay for their reckless and wrongful conduct,” Evers said. during the event.
Evers said the lawsuit is about the liability of chemical companies.
Lee Donahue is a member of the board of supervisors for the town of Campbell, which makes up much of the French Island. She said the lawsuit will help “cut off the flow” of PFAS in her community and throughout the state.
“Unless we shut off the flow, we’re going to be caught in an endless cycle of trying to address what should never have seeped into our soil or groundwater to begin with,” Donahue said.
Kaul said at the press conference that the state hopes to use the lawsuit to force chemical companies to help provide clean water to affected communities and ultimately pay for the effort needed to fix the problem. .
“In the meantime, however, it is essential that our legislature and our federal government take action to immediately resolve this issue because the reality is that prosecutions take time and it will take some time to unfold,” he said. he declares.