NEWS RELEASE – Citing his commitment and efforts to protecting local natural resources and public health, Clean Wisconsin Action Fund has announced its endorsement of Tom Kilian for District 3 of the Wausau City Council.
Clean Wisconsin Action Fund is the sister organization to Clean Wisconsin. A nonpartisan environmental advocacy organization, the Action Fund protects Wisconsin’s clean water and air. It works to ensure that elected officials and decision-makers know the importance of these issues.
Prior to taking office, Kilian was a founding member of, and the first spokesperson for, Citizens for a Clean Wausau (CCW), a local volunteer group working primarily on issues related to defining the extent and nature of industrial contamination in a footprint on Wausau’s southwest side, so that it can and will be remediated.
CCW’s work and research was instrumental in environmental matters and investigations to address dioxin contamination in Riverside Park, testing and future remediation of soil contamination on part of the former Connor Forest Industries property, pentachlorophenol contamination in municipal manholes and the sanitary sewer relating to contaminated groundwater from the Wauleco property (formerly the Crestline and SNE property), among others. Some of the problems, prior to the group’s efforts, had been essentially unaddressed – or even unidentified – by various levels of government for many years.
In 2019, CCW received a statewide watchdog award from the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council for its work, during which Kilian was personally named. The award related to CCW research of records that played a role in triggering an aerial deposition study, then requested by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), into dioxin soil contamination on Wausau’s southwest side. At the time, a WDNR representative stated that the department had not known that a boiler had historically been used to burn large amounts of wood waste at the Crestline site until CCW’s research revealed it.
In more recent times, as an alderperson, Kilian spearheaded the request to get alternative water sources and at-home filters for Wausau residents after elevated PFAS levels in the drinking water were disclosed to the council and public. He has also been a vocal advocate for aggressive source identification to determine the set of responsible parties – should they exist – for the PFAS contamination that polluted Wausau’s public wells. District 3 candidates’ answers to Wausau Pilot & Review questions about the local PFAS water issue can be found here.
Kilian said that the progress made on these fronts has been a group effort in our community.
“It has been a sustained effort from our neighborhoods and those neighborhoods’ residents. On the southwest side, for example, serious contamination has touched the lives of many individuals and families for decades. We have been, and are, finally changing that, together.”