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Evers looks to hire outside attorneys to handle PFAS suits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers’ administration announced Friday that it wants to hire outside attorneys to potentially file lawsuits over PFAS contamination.

The administration said it will begin soliciting bids from law firms to “evaluate and pursue” litigation against companies responsible for the pollution. Evers will make the final decision on who to hire.

The announcement did not say who the administration might sue. Spokeswoman for Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul didn’t immediately respond to messages inquiring about the targets of potential litigation and why the state Justice Department wouldn’t handle those cases.

The announcement comes after the state Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that elevated levels of PFAS have been found in Madison-area lakes. PFAS are man-made chemicals found in a number of products, including fire-fighting foam.

Wisconsin regulators are monitoring nearly 50 sites across the state for PFAS contamination, Evers’ administration said. Earlier this month Peshtigo residents reached a $17.5 million settlement with Tyco Fire Products and two other companies over PFAS contamination stemming from fire-fighting foam.

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