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Applying to a federal funding program to finance a new water treatment facility to provide a residential water supply free of PFAS contamination.

Town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin

Featured image for the project, Applying to a federal funding program to finance a new water treatment facility to provide a residential water supply free of PFAS contamination.

Aerial image of a portion of the Town of Peshtigo. Photo Courtesy of Cindy Boyle.

The Town of Peshtigo believes the best path forward for providing a source for PFAS free (polyfluoroalkyl substances) drinking water is to finance a permanent safe drinking water solution. Plans for this facility include deep aquifer wells or sourcing surface water from Green Bay, or wholesale water from a neighboring municipality. This solution will provide citizens with a source of clean, PFAS free drinking water. PFAS is a widespread chemical compound that is known to have harmful effects to humans, animals, and the environment (https://www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-explained). Eliminating, or lowering exposure to PFAS chemicals is directly beneficial to the health of the citizens of the Town of Peshtigo.

Description

About the Community

The Town of Peshtigo is a rural town in northeastern Wisconsin, bordered on the east by the bay of Green Bay and multiple municipalities to the west. There are approximately 4,000 residents in the Town of Peshtigo representing multiple generations of families. The active PFAS plume is the largest and most complex environmental catastrophe in Wisconsin’s history. The Community Leads hope that working with Thriving Earth Exchange can aid in providing a permanent source of safe drinking water. Community Leads have been educating the public and advocating for PFAS standards in groundwater for the past 5 years.

 

About the Project

The Town Board would like to apply for infrastructure and safe water grants to provide a permanent source of safe drinking water. Securing funding for the Town of Peshtigo through EPA Federal Infrastructure Funds may become a model for other communities with PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substance) contamination problems to follow. Approximately 35% of private wells in the Town of Peshtigo are located within an active PFAS plume; PFAS (a known carcinogen) is known to cause harmful effects to both humans and the environment (https://www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-explained). We intend to find a scientist to guide, write, and provide input to the Town Board in order to submit a competitive proposal for the EPA Federal Infrastructure funding program which will be awarded through the WI DNR. When completed and funding is secured, the community will have access to a long-term source of safe drinking water.

Timeline and Milestones

Briefly describe any key dates or milestones (if applicable), and the intended duration of the project. Thriving Earth Exchange’s baseline is approximately 12 months. (6-18 months)

  • Program announcement: TBD. Anticipated PA release is late summer 2022- waiting for release by WI DNR
  • Proposal due date: TBD.

Project Team

Community Leads

Cindy Boyle- Town of Peshtigo Chairperson

Cindy Boyle is the 29-year owner of Boyle Design Group, a marketing/sign business. Married for 27 years, Cindy and he husband own multiple small businesses and rental properties, have three sons and two grandchildren. For more than 4 years, Cindy has been organizing, educating and advocating for State and Federal standards for PFAS groundwater and surface water. She is a founding member of SOH2O, a PFAS awareness advocacy group, and has served as the Town of Peshtigo Chairperson for the past year.

 

Kayla Furton –Town of Peshtigo Supervisor

Kayla Furton is an educator by training and profession, an environmental advocate through interest and priority, a clean water PFAS advocate with a local advocacy group by necessity, and Town Board Supervisor through a commitment to working for change at all levels.

 

Jeffery Lamont- Founding member of SOH2O

Jeffery Lamont worked for CH2M HILL as a Project Manager and Hydrogeologist for 28 years where he was involved in the investigation, design and implementation of a wide array of remedial actions for contaminated sites throughout North America. In addition, he has led the sediment remediation and demolition practices for over 15 years and has been advocating for the last 5 years for State and Federal numerical standards for PFAS compounds.

Community Science Fellow

 

Carsyn Ames Headshot

Carsyn Ames- AGU Thriving Earth Exchange Fellow, Samples Coordinator at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS)

Carsyn Ames (she/her) is the curator for the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey’s (WGNHS) geological collections. She got her start in Geology by earning a B.S. at the University of South Carolina before moving on to the University of Iowa where she earned a M.S. Throughout her academic career, Carsyn has studied and dated detrital minerals to answer questions about the geologic past they record. Carsyn is excited to directly help a community in her home state through TEX. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and camping around Wisconsin with her partner and dog, as well as bowling and reading.

Scientist Wanted

We are seeking someone who is an experienced grant writer with a successful history of applying to federal funding opportunities. Knowledge about PFAS is a plus, but not required.

  • A record of successful grant applications
  • Experience with applying to Federal and State funding opportunities
  • Knowledge of PFAS as an emerging contaminant and groundwater concern (preferred, not required)
  • Strong listening and collaboration skills
  • Remote engagement is ok

Thriving Earth Exchange asks all scientific partners to work with the community to help define a project with concrete local impact to which they can contribute as pro-bono volunteers and collaborators. This work can also position the scientists and communities to seek additional funding, together, for the next stage.

Interested in volunteering as a scientist? Apply now!

Collaborating Organization(s)

Town of Peshtigo

Town of Peshtigo Logo

https://townofpeshtigo.org/ – “The Town of Peshtigo is located between the cities of Marinette and Peshtigo, Wisconsin. It offers a vibrant, rural community full of friendly people. There are excellent educational opportunities, outstanding medical services and a wide variety of outdoor activities within close reach. These attributes contribute to an outstanding quality of life that makes living in the Town a truly unique experience.”