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Supporting New Surface Water Quality Criteria

Robin Schmidt  | Published on 8/22/2021

The League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area submitted comments to the DNR on its economic impact assessment for creating a rule that would regulate the source of PFAS compounds in effluent rather than treating PFAS after they enter the environment from point sources of discharge. The letter is at www.lwvlacrosse.org.

Both the costs and the benefits of this rule are not easily estimated. Based on the information included in the draft EIA, a rough estimate suggests that the costs for rule implementation are relatively low on a per-person basis. Given the significant costs now faced by residents in the La Crosse area with substantive PFAS contamination, the costs for pollution prevention at the source are miniscule compared to the costs of providing a clean water source, future health issues, and long-term impacts to the ecosystem and future generations.

This is just one step toward better management and regulation of these “forever” compounds. The League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area is therefore in support of implementing the new surface water quality criteria. We applaud the DNR for initiating this rule and urge the Legislature to allow DNR to continue in an expeditious manner as possible in drafting this rule. While not as stringent as Minnesota, it is far better than having no standards, testing or PFAS minimization plan at all.

Robin Schmidt
Onalaska
President, LWV of the La Crosse Area