CSWAB Testimony to the DNR Board on "PFAS in Fish a Risk to Wildlife, not just People"

Following is testimony at the Dec. 10 WI DNR hearing on proposed SURFACE WATER criteria for certain PFASMy name is Laura Olah and I live in Merrimac, Wisconsin, in rural Sauk County, and I am here today on behalf of Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger. I am one of those lucky people who live near the Lower Wisconsin Riverway and have the privilege of observing a wide variety of bird species like the American Bald Eagle – in fact eagles are a big deal where I live.

We have Eagle watching days and people come from all over to see them in the wild. 

 In the dead of winter, when the rest of the river is frozen over, they rely on the open water at the outfall of the Prairie du Sac dam – it makes for easy fishing.  And in the evening, the eagles fly away at dusk to roost along the riverway. A growing number having established substantial perennial nests, raising young that also rely on fish from the river.

In the Great Lakes region, elevated levels of PFAS have also been found in deer— in Michigan, leading to a Do Not Eat advisory for deer in at least one county.

For these reasons, one of the things that I was hoping to see, in addition to assessing risk to human health through consumption of fish, was an analysis that documents that the proposed surface water standards are also protective of other species.

Some of us are old enough to remember when eagles became endangered due to effects of another group of persistent bioaccumulative toxins – PCBs.

As with other organic contaminants like PCBs, some PFAS chemicals can both be taken up at the base of food webs (like free-floating algae, or phyto-plankton), and increase in concentrations going up the food web to forage fish, predator fish, and fish-eating wildlife.

The potential impact of PFAS-contaminated military sites in Wisconsin alone is significant. 


Sent to WNPJ by:


*Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB)
Contact Person: Laura Olah
Address: E12629 Weigand's Bay So.,Merrimac, WI 53561
Phone: 608-643-3124
E-Mail: info@cswab.org 
Website: http://www.cswab.org/