And for some Great Lakes governors, the emerging issue of a family of chemicals known as PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — is coming at a time when they are making arguments to raise taxes to fund other statewide needs.
For example, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proposing a 45-cents-a-gallon gas tax for overdue road maintenance, and in Wisconsin, roads along with schools and health care are spending priorities for some of the political leadership.
PFAS chemicals have been used in the manufacturing of many household goods and products and waterproofing materials as well as at airports and some military sites. They’ve appeared in drinking water in dozens of Midwestern communities, and research has not been conclusive about what, exactly, the long-term effects on humans are.
Great Lakes Now canvassed the eight states to determine how much, if any specific funding has been budgeted to deal with PFAS. Responses varied widely: