This week, the State Department of Natural Resources was seeking public input on their proposed drinking water standards for PFAS compounds. Ensuring clean drinking water is one of the most fundamental roles of local government, and I submitted a letter in support of the DNR’s proposed standards.

Next, there is a chance to weigh in on the DNR’s standards for surface water. If you’re interested in submitting comments, follow this link to the Notice of Hearing. Written comments are due by December 15.

Read below to see what I wrote to the DNR this week:


December 7, 2021

Department of Natural Resources

Attn: Adam DeWeese – DG/5

P.O. Box 7921

101 S. Webster Street,

Madison, WI 53707-7921 or

RE: Proposed Drinking Water Standards for PFAS (DG-24-19)

Dear Mx. DeWeese,

I am writing to express my support for the proposed administrative rule to establish a science-based standard for PFAS in drinking water. As you know, PFAS are a group of concerning chemicals with links to serious health impacts. As a Mayor, I am fully aware that one of the most fundamental responsibilities of local government is to provide safe, reliable drinking water. Given the pervasive use of PFAS in our products, its persistence in the environment, and the serious associated health risks associated with it, monitoring and limiting PFAS in our drinking water systems is imperative.

This rule proposes Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS combined at 20 parts per trillion, consistent with recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. I support the creation of health-based standards.

I also acknowledge the technical and cost challenges localities may face in addressing PFAS contamination found in drinking water. Moreover, while water utilities are faced with addressing the contamination, they did not cause the pollution. The best policy would be to require producers of PFAS containing products to take responsibility for remediation. Failing that, I strongly recommend the State continue its efforts to provide support to local governments in numerous ways. Specifically, water utilities need technical assistance and grants to implement treatment systems, and they need the DNR to continue its efforts to hold polluters accountable.


Satya Rhodes-Conway


This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.

Category: Sustainability