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Scientists concerned by toxic PFAS spread to Green Bay's waters

Published on: 01/05/2023


(WLUK) -- A new study states that toxic PFAS chemicals have been found in Lake Michigan's Green Bay.

UW-Madison researchers say they've detected a plume of PFAS and traced it to a manufacturing plant that makes firefighting foam.

Originally found in groundwater near Peshtigo and Marinette, University of Wisconsin researchers say PFAS are now in the waters of Green Bay.

"The transect that we sampled was four kilometers, so a few miles, wide but then how far it spreads out and how long it goes into the bay, we don't know right now," says Associate Professor Christy Remucal.

Remucal and other researchers traced PFAS from the bay to Tyco's Fire Product Plant in Marinette.

"In this case, that sort of fingerprint or that distribution of different PFAS that we found in Green Bay was basically identical to what we found in ditches that are draining Tyco; they're so similar there is really no question," says Remucal.

Tyco provided FOX 11 a statement regarding the findings.

Cindy Boyle is the Chairperson for the Town of Peshtigo. She and others are frustrated with the PFAS contamination.

"Not surprisingly, I think that's very alarming, very concerning, not surprising," says Boyle.

Boyle says she would like to see a solution for all residents affected.

"When myself and my neighbors are still waiting for a permanent safe drinking water source, it's tough to give a lot of credence to those sorts of statements," says Boyle.

"It's a big lake. The PFAS concentrations are definitely lower, about 10 times lower if you go to other locations in Green Bay because of dilution... but it's concerning to know this plume is hitting Lake Michigan," says Remucal.

Remucal says she is interested in surveying more areas in Northeast Wisconsin.

Author :Lydia Andersen

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