PFAS author: Evers wants to unconstitutionally punish land owners over chemicals



(The Center Square) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says he wants to “hold polluters accountable” with a new PFAS law, but the Republican senator who wrote the plan the governor is going to veto says Evers has it all wrong.

Sen. Eric Wimberger, R-Green Bay, told The Center Square on Friday the governor is confusing polluters with people who find PFAS contamination on their land.

“Gov. Evers engages in semantic overload with the term ‘polluter,’ and then laments that SB312 doesn’t ‘hold polluters accountable,’ and ‘limits the DNR authority’ to hold polluters accountable,” Wimberger said. “[My legislation] does not alter the liabilities for point-source-polluters, [who] you would consider in the commonsense definition of a polluter. Instead, it exempts innocent landowners and victims of pollution from draconian enforcement orders if they let the DNR monitor and remediate as requested.”

The State Assembly approved Wimberger’s plan on Thursday. It now heads to the governor.

Supporters say the legislation would provide $125 million to communities to test for and deal with PFAS chemicals in their water supply.

The point, Wimberger said, is to help make sure people have safe drinking water across Wisconsin.

Wimberger said Evers has a different focus.

“Evers and activists refuse to do what is right unless it ‘holds polluters accountable.’ But a law passed today to make something that happened yesterday illegal, is Ex Post Facto. To declare someone guilty through legislation is called a Bill of Attainder. Both are unconstitutional,” Wimberger explained. “Evers seemingly demands the unconstitutional in order to act on PFAS.”

If the governor gets his way, Wimberger said, a lot of people in Wisconsin are going to pay a steep price.

“The DNR can order any owner of a property that ‘emits’ a hazardous substance into remediation. Failure to abide can result in $5,000 fines per day. By legal definition, an emitter is any property from which one molecule transfers to another property. It does not matter how the substance originally got in the land,” Wimberger added. “The result will be a domino effect of preventable legal tragedy. When a person tests for PFAS, they will obtain actual knowledge their property emits. They’ll have to report it to their banks when their mortgages come up for renewal. Banks will not renew the loan. They’ll have to report it on property disclosures at sale, and value will plummet. Getting them all clean water will not solve the legal issue of still owning a property that is subject to remediation orders at any time. Massive amounts of land will be abandoned like every other brownfield situation.”

And not just in rural parts of Wisconsin, or in communities near airports or other PFAS sites.

“Even if you live in the city and have clean municipal water, use of some fertilizers for your lawn will still make you the owner of an emitting property,” Wimberger said that includes Milwaukee where the local sanitary district uses Milorganite.

Evers has not said what he plans to without a new PFAS law or when he may veto the one that’s on his desk.

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below



Share post:


More like this

More than 207K in West Virginia deemed ineligible for Medicaid during unwinding

(The Center Square) – West Virginia’s Medicaid enrollment is...

South Carolina governor signs bill to help preserve working agricultural lands

(The Center Square) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster...

Two Views of Biden’s 2025 Budget: Partisan Clash Continues in Washington Over Fiscal Responsibility

(AURN News) – President Joe Biden’s proposed 2025 fiscal year...

Wisconsin to receive $62.4M in federal solar panel funding

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin will receive $62.4 million...