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The Latest: Democrats want fire foam pollution standards

May 23, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on legislation to limit pollution from fire-fighting foam (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

A group of Democratic lawmakers are introducing a bill that calls for the state Department of Natural Resources to establish standards and monitoring requirements for pollution from fire-fighting foam.

Five Democrats including Sen. Mark Miller and Rep. Chris Taylor unveiled the bill at a news conference in Green Bay flanked by Gov. Tony Evers and DNR Secretary Preston Cole.

The bill would require the DNR to establish acceptable levels of polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which are found in fire-fighting foam. The measure also calls for the DNR to set up monitoring requirements for PFAS, set criteria for certify laboratories to test for PFAS.

Republicans who control the Legislature have introduced their own bill limiting the use of foam that contains PFAS.

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9 a.m.

Two Republican lawmakers from northeastern Wisconsin are introducing a bill that would limit the use of fire-fighting foam that contains pollutants.

Rep. John Nygren and Sen. Rob Cowles’ proposal would allow the use of foam that contains polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, only in emergency fire-fighting or fire prevention operations. Testing facilities could use the foam only if they have appropriate containment measures.

Wisconsin health officials say research suggests PFAS can reduce fertility, increase the risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women and lower birth weights.

State Department of Natural Resources records show Marinette-based Tyco Fire Products discovered its fire training facility was contaminated with PFAS in 2013. The company started distributing bottled water to residents whose private wells may have been affected in December 2017.

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