Maria Powell

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People of Madison and Dane County, toxic PFAS plagues our fine land. For decades, it lurked invisibly in our drinking water, creeks, and fish — and our bodies. Corporations, profiting from poisoning the planet, knew this but did not tell us.

What can we do? For PFAS-free future generations, we’ll need to fight from the bottom-up.

The EPA, captured by corporate polluters, is allowing new PFAS compounds on the market every year. The state of Wisconsin? The Republican-Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce machine is working to prevent the promulgation of protective standards — forget about making polluters pay to clean up PFAS.

Our “progressive” city and county governments? Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is AWOL. The city and county killed the public PFAS Task Force citizens proposed and formed a non-public government "PFAS Working Group" instead. Mayor Rhodes-Conway says our PFAS concerns are overblown — and it’s our fault for buying all those PFAS products. Did our mayor and county executive drink PFAS Kool-Aid manufactured by WMC?

We still live in a democracy, but only if we engage in it. Write to your elected officials. Testify at government meetings. Insist that government servants hold PFAS-polluters accountable for cleaning up PFAS pollution. Demand full transparency and open public engagement in PFAS decisions. Ask city and county officials to live up to their social and racial equity policies and prevent PFAS exposures to the most vulnerable people in our community.

Raise hell, people! Nobody else will do it for you.

—As told to Steven Elbow

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