PFAS Update XXIV: New Laws and Lawsuits, Contamination Sites, Research Findings and More

As SGS joins the rest of the globe in navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and providing services related to both cleaning verification for buildings and ships, and indoor air testing for the virus, the health and safety of our clients, staff, families and communities is always our top priority. As we offer you news on PFAS and emerging contaminants, we wish you and yours the best of health.

Our PFAS Update XXIV covers lots of U.S. turf with news relevant to all 50 states and specifically from 15 states, about all aspects of PFAS and emerging contaminants.

Ongoing research continually reveals PFAS presence in humans, wildlife, and commercial products that we eat, drink and wear. The volume and frequency of PFAS and emerging contaminants news shows how the presence of these contaminants causes alarm, legal activity, and continued research. Colorado, for example, is now requiring manufacturers and others to monitor PFAS and Kansas and other states are testing for PFAS in drinking water.  Meanwhile, monthly news continues from affected states like Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and more. We invite you to dig into this edition to discover all the news that’s relevant to you.

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Click on SGS PFAS/emerging contaminants analysis capabilities, and see why SGS delivers what you need every step of way.

To find out how we can best help you with your PFAS analysis, call +1 800 329 0204 or email We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Phasing Out is Not Enough — The Problem with Fluorinated Chemicals in Wildlife
During a time of cultural and political polarization, PFAS may be one of the few commonalities shared by all Americans. These human-created industrial chemicals are found in the blood of 99 percent of U.S. adults, as well as babies in the womb and children.

Did the White House Stop the EPA From Regulating PFAS?  The chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental harm, liver problems, and immune dysfunction. They stay in the body for years — and persist in the environment indefinitely. And they’ve contaminated thousands of sites around the country, including hundreds where the military used firefighting foam laced with the chemicals. Yet somehow the industrial compounds PFOS and PFOA — part of a family of chemicals called PFAS — are not hazardous, according to the Trump administration.

PFAS GenX Study Draws Direct Comparisons With PFOA

A new study regarding the health effects of the much heralded PFAS named “GenX” shows results that compare in some ways to PFOA studies. While testing of GenX toxicity on human health is still in its infancy, the study will nonetheless undoubtedly be used by proponents who want federal and state governments to regulate all PFAS (thousands of them) as a single chemical type.

Some Sparkling Water Brands Have PFAS, Study Says
A new study from Consumer Reports found that some carbonated water brands have measurable amounts of so-called PFAS chemicals, which are linked to adverse health effects. Researchers examined more than 40 brands of bottled water and found that sparkling water was more likely to include higher levels of the chemicals than still water.

Why Dangerous ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Still Allowed in America’s Drinking Water
In 2014, residents of Horsham Township, Pa., near Philadelphia, learned that their water had been contaminated with potentially toxic chemicals linked to an array of health problems, including learning delays in children and cancer. Those residents include Frank and Lisa Penna, who allege in a lawsuit that their water was among the contaminated supplies.

Defense Officials Say Pandemic Delayed Research for PFAS Alternative
The head of the Department of Defense’s environmental research program said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a delay in finding a replacement for military firefighting foam that contains “forever chemicals” linked to cancer and other adverse health conditions.

PFAS Firefighting Foam Ban Passes In CA
California Governor Gavin Newson signed into law SB-1044 (Firefighting Equipment and Foam: PFAS Chemicals). The bill is in essence a PFAS firefighting foam ban and many environmentalists are heralding the bill as strong step forward in eliminating firefighting foams (also known as aqueous film forming foam – AFFF) as a significant source of PFAS contamination in drinking water. The law bans the manufacture, sale and use of PFAS firefighting foam in most applications starting on January 1, 2022, including training classes.

Colorado Enacts Multiple Laws to Stop ‘Forever Chemicals’
In a major push to protect the public, a new regulation requiring Colorado manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants and others to monitor PFAS, the so-called “forever chemicals,” takes effect this month.

Army Requests to Collect Water Samples Around Fort Riley
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Army is requesting to collect water samples around Fort Riley to test the quality of residents’ drinking water.

Navy Expands Testing of Water After Wells Near Bangor Base Found with Contamination
BANGOR — Two wells bordering Naval Base Kitsap’s southern edge have been found to have potentially harmful levels of contamination caused by a firefighting foam long used on the base, and the Navy is pursuing further testing to examine a wider area for its presence this fall.

$14M Project Proposed to Treat PFAS in Mansfield Water
MANSFIELD — Mansfield is looking at making $13.9 million in improvements to town wells to address levels of polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, above MassDEP recommended levels in the town water system.

Randolph/Holbrook Get Funds to Protect Water Supply
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration finalized regulations Thursday that establish enforceable limits on two contaminants in public drinking water and require testing for the chemicals.

State Establishes New PFAS Standards to Boost Testing 
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration finalized regulations Thursday that establish enforceable limits on two contaminants in public drinking water and require testing for the chemicals.

Why Dangerous ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Still Allowed in America’s Drinking Water
The Board of Health voted at its Sept. 8 meeting to add PFAS to the list of substances some homeowners with private wells must test for before selling their homes. Only those homeowners who live in areas where wells have tested positive for PFAS must adhere to the new regulation, which also applies when digging a new well or rehabilitating an existing one.

Regulators Begin PFAS Investigation in East Bay Township; Effort Comes After ‘Hot’ Monitoring Well Result Found Near Airport
TRAVERSE CITY — About 20 homes and one business in East Bay Township may have for years been using drinking water contaminated with PFAS chemicals, and state environmental regulators now launched efforts to find out for sure.

NRRI Receives $3M Grant to Collect Sediments, Analyze Contaminants in Great Lakes
In September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced significant federal investments in Great Lakes research. The funds include $3 million to the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) for collecting and analyzing legacy and emerging chemical contaminants in lake sediments.

New Hampshire
Public Water Testing For NH State PFAS Chemical Limits Begins After Year-Long Delay
The restart of widespread testing for PFAS chemicals in New Hampshire’s public water supplies, started October 1, after a year-long delay due to a lawsuit from PFAS-maker 3M.

New Jersey
New PFAS Compound Found in New Jersey Water
A chemical introduced by the manufacturer Solvay Specialty Polymers USA to replace a now-regulated PFAS substance has been found in New Jersey drinking water, and the company’s own research suggests that it can cause liver damage, according to emails obtained by Consumer Reports.

New York 
Riverhead Town Set to Hire Environmental Law Firm to Sue PFOS/PFOA Manufacturers
Riverhead will retain a California-based law firm specializing in environmental litigation to pursue the manufacturers of chemical contaminants that have been found in one of the Riverhead Water District’s wells.

State To Test Soil, Water for PFAS Around Norlite Incinerator
COHOES — State Department of Environmental Conservation technicians in coming weeks will take soil and water samples around the Norlite aggregate plant to see if PFAS from firefighting foam incinerated there poses a pollution and possible health threat.

North Carolina
Seeking Damages for Decades of Contamination, North Carolina Sues Chemours and DuPont
North Carolina filed a lawsuit in a Fayetteville court alleging that DuPont and then Chemours knew for decades the threats to human health posed by GenX and other perfluorinated chemicals that they were discharging into the Cape Fear River.

Toxic PFAS Found in Livers of Atlantic Seabirds, Including Those in NC
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are accumulating in dead juvenile seabirds in three locations off the Atlantic Coast, including North Carolina, according to a study published this month in Environmental Science and Technology, raising questions about how the chemicals might be  affecting humans.

Ohio EPA Found Elevated Levels of PFAS at Aullwood Audobon Farm Discovery Center
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that the public water system serving the Aullwood Audobon Farm Discovery Center tested positive for elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Rhode Island 
URI Grad Student Finds Chemical Contaminants in Seabirds from Narragansett Bay, Massachusetts
Evidence continues to accumulate about human and wildlife exposure to chemical compounds called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively referred to as PFAS, and their deleterious effects on the environment. The latest study, by a University of Rhode Island graduate student, found high levels of the compounds in seabirds from offshore Massachusetts and coastal Rhode Island and North Carolina.

2 Drinking Water Wells Contaminated Near Naval Base Kitsap
BREMERTON, Washington — Two wells bordering Naval Base Kitsap‘s southern edge have been found to have potentially harmful levels of contamination caused by a firefighting foam used on the base.

DNR Orders Tests for ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Fish Harvested from Marinette, Peshtigo Areas Near Firefighting Foam Facility
A Marinette-based fire products company was ordered to test fish from public waters for “forever chemicals” in its latest round of analysis of how the chemicals are affecting the surrounding communities.

City of La Crosse Offers Free Well Tests for PFAS Contamination Near Airport
The city of La Crosse is concerned about well water contamination in nearly 130 homes. The Wisconsin DNR recommended La Crosse investigate contamination near the airport after municipal wells tested for elevated levels of PFAS in 2014 and 2016.