Statement from the Office of Mayor Rhodes-Conway Regarding PFAS in Fish Tissue Samples
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 12:17pm
Earlier today the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued a news release which
identified fish from Starkweather Creek and Lake Monona with elevated levels of PFOS. DNR will be
releasing new fish consumption advisories for Starkweather Creek and Lake Monona.
In response to these results, Public Health Madison & Dane County will be publicizing the fish
consumption advisories by putting up new signage at lake access points and along Starkweather Creek,
hosting two public meetings, and sending a mailing to homes near the water.
“The City is taking immediate steps to inform the public about the new, more restrictive fish
advisories,” said Mayor Satya. “The City will continue to follow the best available science to protect
the public’s health. I urge people to take this advisory seriously and recognize that small fish are of
concern as well.”
“This is a rapidly developing field,” said Doug Voegeli, Director of Environmental Health of Public
Health Madison & Dane County. “As more data become available, we will continue to work with state
partners to update any advisories and communicate those changes to the public.”
Public Health is planning public meetings to discuss the fish tissue sample results and the health
impacts of consumption. Spanish and Hmong interpreters will be available, and one of the meetings
will be recorded and available on their website.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals
found in firefighting foams, stain repellants, nonstick cookware, fast food wrappers, and many other
products. One type of PFAS, called PFOS, can build up in the muscles and livers of fish at higher
levels than other PFAS.( https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/fish/docs/consortium/bestpracticepfos.pdf page 4)
Madison’s drinking water wells draw water from a deep sandstone aquifer below the city, not from
surface water. The Water Utility continues to monitor all wells for PFAS contamination and post
information on their website. One well has proactively been taken offline, although all testing results
have been below interim guidelines set by the state.
To limit future environmental contamination, the City has converted to PFAS-free firefighting foam.
The City, County, and the DNR will continue to work together to address the source of PFAS
contamination at Truax Field.
- Christie Baumel, 608.266.4611