Scientists confirm PFAS has made its way to Green Bay | NBC 26
GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — “Although they are getting a lot more attention lately PFAS has been used for decades,” said the Director of the Water Science & Engineering Laboratory at UW Madison, Christina Remucal.
In a study conducted at UW Madison, researchers found that PFAS chemicals were linked to the Firefighting foam manufacturer Tyco in Marinette, Wisconsin.“We found that the chemical fingerprint and types of PFAS that we measured in the Green Bay were nearly identical from what’s leaving Tyco, so it’s really no question of where that is coming from,” says Remucal.
This is not the first time that Tyco has run into PFAS problems, but according to a statement provided by them, they are doing what they can to combat this contamination.
Tyco welcomes continued science and research on PFAS, which is one of the reasons we have been so proud to be open and transparent with the data related to our extensive work in Marinette, Wisconsin. We have not had the opportunity to review this work but will look forward to the opportunity to do so. What we can say is that Tyco has stepped up and taken responsibility, investing tens of millions of dollars to address the PFAS from our historic operations at our Fire Technology Center in Marinette. We have built an expansive groundwater treatment system that is already achieving thorough PFAS removal in the water treated; we have excavated soils with aggregated PFAS; and we’ve worked in partnership with neighbors to accelerate the delivery to them of their preferred long-term drinking water solutions. Our work has been overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at every stage, and Tyco has shared all work plans, data, and the results we have achieved with the public. PFAS is a problem across the country, and it is clear that Tyco’s cleanup efforts are the most comprehensive and advanced in Wisconsin while many other known sources are yet to be addressed. Johnson Controls and Tyco Fire Products
The previous issues with PFAS in Marinette took hold of the groundwater harming many areas of drinking water, however, with PFAS chemicals found in Green Bay, researchers are now worried about the fish population. “Now it’s spreading into [the bay of] Green Bay, and it’s so diffuse, and it’s going to be really hard to treat and we need to now look and see if there is any impact on fish consumption,” said Associate Professor of Economic Engineering at UW-Green Bay, Michael Holly.
Holly says that he is worried that as these contaminants move and travel, it creates a possible hazard for fish and the fish contaminates.“We don’t know a lot at the moment but when people understand the food chain, those organisms that are at the bottom are getting exposed to the PFAS, and then it’s moving up the food chain and that’s where we don’t know what fish are being affected,” said Holly.
As far as prevention and treatment, it’s a waiting and research game.