MADISON, Wis. — The Department of Natural Resources will host a public listening session in Marinette on Wednesday to ensure that the public receives timely information about PFAS contamination in the Marinette-Peshtigo area.

Representatives from the DNR will be on hand to answer questions and hear concerns from community members regarding the PFAS investigation and cleanup associated with Johnson Controls International - Tyco Fire Products (JCI/Tyco) properties in Marinette. Staff will also discuss plans for PFAS testing in deer.

“The listening sessions are an opportunity for the public to let the DNR and Johnson Controls International - Tyco Fire Products know what their concerns are. It also gives the department an opportunity to share with the public what the next steps are and what progress is being made,” said Darsi Foss, DNR Environmental Management Division Administrator. “Residents are encouraged to attend so they are a part of the process as we work hard to solve this problem.”

PFAS contamination was detected in the soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, private drinking water wells and biosolids in the Marinette and Peshtigo area. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam.

These legacy contaminants have made their way into the environment through accidental spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and certain types of firefighting foams. PFAS can persist in the environment and the human body for long periods of time. Recent scientific findings indicate exposure to certain PFAS may have harmful health effects in people.

In September, the DNR provided a letter to the mayors of the cities of Peshtigo and Marinette and the chairperson for the town of Peshtigo regarding upcoming public meetings and clarification on trust fund availability. The department held a public meeting in July regarding past, current and upcoming actions on PFAS in the Marinette and Peshtigo area. A complete summary of recent PFAS actions by the DNR can be found here.

The Oct. 16 meeting is the second in a series of six meetings the DNR will hold in the area as part of the department’s effort to provide open and ongoing communication via monthly, in-person forums where residents can meet with DNR staff.

All listening sessions will be held at the Community REC Center. Meeting schedule:

• Session 2, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

• Session 3, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, Noon-1:30 p.m. & 6:00-7:30 p.m.

• Session 4, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

• Session 5, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, Noon-1:30 p.m. & 6:00-7:30 p.m.

• Session 6, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, 6:00-7:30 p.m.