(AP Photo/Scott Bauer, File) Attorney General Josh Kaul
(AP Photo/Scott Bauer, File)

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, both Democrats, have announced a lawsuit against polluters for PFAS contamination of water and natural resources concentrated in rural communities.

The suit, which targets Tyco, Chemguard, 3M, DuPont, and others, was authorized by Evers and introduced by Kaul in Dane County. In the complaint, the state argues that defendants “knew or should have known that the ordinary and intended use of their products would lead to the dangerous impacts on public health and the environment now being experienced across Wisconsin.”

“PFAS contamination has impacted communities and water quality around the state,” said Attorney General Kaul in a release announcing the suit. “This lawsuit seeks to ensure that the companies that are responsible — and not Wisconsin taxpayers — will pay to clean it up.”

The use of PFAS and its contamination of Wisconsin waterways have emerged as a growing concern across Wisconsin in recent years. PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, do not break down naturally and have been linked to a number of serious health issues.

Among the rural communities impacted by PFAS are Rhinelander, Marinette, Peshtigo, Wausau, and others.

If successful, the lawsuit will ensure that the private companies who used PFAS in these areas will be the ones to pay the costs associated with clean-up rather than area taxpayers.