EPA announces new PFAS standards

City of Prescott receives grant for Elm and Washington Street Project

By Danielle Boos
Posted 5/1/24

PRESCOTT – Prescott City Council members accomplished a lot in a short amount of time while newly elected alderpersons Adam Granquist and Michael Gerke attended their first meeting April 22.

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EPA announces new PFAS standards

City of Prescott receives grant for Elm and Washington Street Project


PRESCOTT – Prescott City Council members accomplished a lot in a short amount of time while newly elected alderpersons Adam Granquist and Michael Gerke attended their first meeting April 22.

City Administrator Matt Wolf shared some good news and some “expected” news. Wolf said April 10 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new standards for PFAS regarding drinking standards.

“With this change in standards and these new levels of essentially four parts per trillion, it reduces what’s currently in place, which is the Wisconsin DNR at 70 parts per trillion, so that would essentially mean that all of our wells would be no longer within the limits of that drinking water standard,” Wolf said. “So even though the EPA has released this, the DNR in Wisconsin has stated that they’ll take up to three years to implement the new standard of four parts per trillion, so currently the enforceable standard is still 70 parts per trillion. This may take up to three years. It’s going to be the DNR and then the Department of Health Services Wisconsin working together to adjust these limits and then implement them. So right now, we’re working with the DNR to see if we need to do a notification.”

Alderperson Maureen Otwell asked if Well 3, which is currently being worked on, will meet the new standards.

“Well 3 will meet these standards. The final drinking water estimate will be about 1.5 to 2 parts per trillion. So, we would be reducing them to within the standards that are required as part of that,” Wolf replied.

Speaking of the other wells, Granquist asked, “When Well 3 is done, because I know that we cycle them all together, is that going to help reduce the overall number in all of them at all or is that just kind of a dent and it isn’t really going to do much?”

Wolf said Well 3 would meet the standards but Well 2 and Well 4 will still need to meet the standards.

“The DNR looks at each source and tests it per source so even if you were to take one well and treat it and get it all the way down to zero and still not treat the other one, you’d still have to do each source individually,” he said.

The city will be required to shut them off if any one source is not meeting the standards. Wolf explained that Well 4 is also slowly incrementally increasing in terms of nitrates similar, to Well 3.

Ready to share some good news, Wolf said the Wisconsin Department of Transportation approved a grant of “up to $871,950” for the Elm and Washington Streets Project. Wolf said the biggest benefit is instead of having to utilize other borrowings for future road projects, the city can use additional savings to pay for those and it won’t accumulate interest. Moving forward, city staff will be working with the council to utilize and look at the Capital Improvement Plan for roads and other potential parks projects.

“I’ve seen one of only 41 projects selected in the whole state. That’s pretty cool,” Granquist commented.

“One of the big reasons that we did get it was because of the inclusion of the sidewalk and the improvements that we are making to pedestrian safety at Elm and Kinnickinnic Street,” added Wolf.

After a brief rundown of upcoming meetings, the council unanimously voted to send Ordinance 01-24 to repeal and replace Chapter 443 Article I concerning junked vehicles and appliances to a third reading.

Alderperson Dar Hintz gave a brief summary on the ordinance that she explained addressed junked vehicles and appliances for residential and commercial property owners.

The council moved on to controversial Ordinance 02-24, regarding small box discount stores.

“It is proposing a guideline to distance between small box stores of 7,000 feet apart, also ensuring that there is a dedicated area for specific items such as lean proteins and healthy greens that might not be offered in other small box stores. So, those are the two main items in regard to creating an ordinance that would offer some sort of guideline to the amount of small box stores within the city in one particular area,” Hintz summarized.

As Gerke questioned the current discount stores that are located near each other, Mayor Robert Daughtery explained that any small box discount store businesses built prior to the ordinance would be grandfathered in.

With a motion from Hintz and an opposing vote from Alderperson Maureen Otwell, the Council agreed to approve the second reading and send it to a third reading after Wolf requested clarification on the motion.

Wolf recapped Ordinance 03-24 to amend City Ordinance, Chapter 635 Zoning, Section 635-21 I (2) Minimum yards.

“This change is regarding rear yards. Right now, our code currently has a 25-rear yard setback in the C1 district which isn’t matching with what reality is down at the C1 District,” Wolf said. “Almost everybody has zero or minimum rear yard setbacks so this would be matching up with that basically a zero-foot rear yard setback unless it was non-fireproof construction, then it would be required a ten-foot gap which meets building code.”

Council voted to move the ordinance to a third reading.

Wolf went on to explain Ordinance 04-24 to amend City Ordinance, Chapter 635 Zoning Section 635-55 G (2) Number of Stalls.

“Basically, when we revised our zoning code in 2023, this was just a mistake that was inadvertently lost when we did the revisions,” Wolf said. “So, this is just adding that parcels in the C1 District are exempt from minimum requirements of the parking standards that we have for other zoning districts. So, all of our C1 districts are historic downtown, and they are not required to provide parking stalls as part of their development down in the C1 District due to the density that is down there.”

With no discussion from the council, they approved the second reading and moved it to a third reading.

Commission nominations

Daugherty put forth nominating Penny Peterson to the Cable Commission to replace Dallas Eggers, who is stepping down. Peterson also served on the Library Board. The nomination will be brought back for a vote at the May 13 meeting and will be up for reappointment in April 2026.

Former Alderperson Bailey Ruona was nominated to replace David Hovel on the Plan Commission. Hovel moved out of the Prescott community.

“The vacated seat currently would be up for reappointment in 2025,” said Daughtery.

Other business

  • The Prescott Public Library is welcoming community members to its Summer Kickoff from 4-6 p.m. May 30 where local residents and their families can enjoy music, food, and fun. Attendees can sign up for the Summer Reading Program, listen to music from The Bazillions, Touch-a-Truck, get their faces painted, make crafts, play exciting games, and taste delicious food at the bake sale hosted by the St. Croix Stars. Free popcorn will be distributed from Joy Lutheran Church.
  • The next Plan Commission meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 6.
  • There is no council meeting May 27 due to the Memorial Day holiday.
Prescott City Council, EPA, PFAS, drinking water, standards, DOT, Elm Street, Washington Street, Prescott, Wisconsin