PFAS Update VIII: PFAS and Emerging Contaminants Continue to Grab Headlines Locally, Statewide and Nationally

As PFAS and other emerging contaminants are identified throughout the United States, awareness has grown among the citizenry, and governments on many levels are taking action with more intense study and research, lawsuits, proposed legislation, remediation funding and more. The articles in this month’s PFAS Update detail breaking news and revisit the history of these contaminants. The stories emanate from Washington, D.C. and 10 states that are coming to terms with and planning the next step in this burgeoning issue.

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Around the United States

The Toxic Water Crisis that 2020 Democrats Are Still Figuring Out How to Talk About
So-called “forever chemicals” are tainting roughly 19 million Americans’ drinking water in 43 states. How are so few presidential candidates talking about this?

U.S. EPA Seeks Comments on Draft Interim Recommendations for Addressing Emerging Contaminants PFOA and PFOS in Groundwater
The EPA has released its draft interim recommendations for addressing groundwater contaminated with PFOA and PFOS for public review and comment as part of the agency’s PFAS Action Plan commitments.

Time-bombing the Future
Synthetics created in the 20th century have become an evolutionary force, altering human biology and the web of life.

Alaska Utility Suspends Compost Sales Due to Contaminants
Golden Heart Utilities in Fairbanks said Thursday that PFAS substances were detected in compost stockpiles,

Toxic PFAS Chemicals Found in Maine Farms Fertilized with Sewage Sludge
All sewage sludge recently tested by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection was contaminated with PFAS chemicals, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

Fire Chiefs Warm Up to Academy’s Phased Closure
The Barnstable County Fire Chiefs Association voted unanimously to support phased closure of the PFAS-contaminated Barnstable County Fire and Rescue Training Academy during its monthly meeting.

Researchers Seek PFAS Solutions as They Try to Break Down The ‘Forever Chemical’
State officials suspect the potentially harmful compound could be contaminating more than 11,000 sites in Michigan, and hundreds more across the country.

New PFAS Site Confirmed in Oscoda Township
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has confirmed another PFAS contaminated site in Oscoda Township at the former dump.

County Gets $300K for Hastings Riverfront Redevelopment Efforts
The EPA grant money will first be used on two riverfront corridor properties, where PFAS contamination and vapor intrusion are potential concerns.

36 Residential Hartford Wells Test Positive for PFAS; More Than 60% of Those Tested Show Contamination
Thirty-six residential wells out of 59 tested in Hartford have some amount PFAS in them.

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Files Two Lawsuits Against Companies for PFAS Contamination
Governor Chris Sununu published a press release announcing that the state filed two lawsuits against companies for the manufacturing and dissemination of four PFAS compounds (PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFHxS).

New York
Report: Long Island’s Drinking Water has Most Contaminants in State
Long Island’s drinking water has “by far” the most emerging contaminants of any region in the state, according to a review of detections of the substances by the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Editorial: State must do more to ensure clean water; Blind acceptance of government claims is always dangerous
A new NYPIRG report gathers public information on water quality in the state, focusing on 20 so-called “emerging contaminants,” chemicals from the post-industrial age that include PFOA and PFOS and 1,4-Dioxane.

North Carolina
Senate Lowers Bottom Line on PFAS Funding
Senate and House Budget Proposals Contrast Sharply with the Governor’s on How Each Deals with Emerging Contaminants.

New PFAS Sampling Plan Details State’s Approach to Address PFAS
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources issued an updated PFAS sampling plan. The newly-released plan outlines how ANR will identify and characterize PFAS contamination in soil, groundwater and surface waters like lakes and rivers.

West Virginia
Martinsburg to Receive $4.9M Related to PFAS Cleanup
The city of Martinsburg will be reimbursed $4,915,628 by the U.S. Air Force for expenses related to the cleanup of PFAS found in the city’s water supply in 2016.

Citizen’s Advisory Committee to Form
At the special Town of Peshtigo board meeting, several concerned citizens spoke up in support of the resolution that was adopted in April to form a citizen’s advisory committee to help address the issues of the PFAS water contamination that the town is currently battling.