PFAS Update XXIX: News from Around North America and the World on PFAS and Emerging Contaminants
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.
Month-after-month, we share reporting from throughout the U.S. and around the globe on PFAS and emerging contaminants. In SGS PFAS Update XXIX, you’re taken to Lake Memphremagog bordering Quebec and Vermont, Luke Airforce Base in Arizona, and Mashpee, Massachusetts on the waters of Cape Cod, all locations that have detected the presence of PFAS. We’re also in in Australia this issue, looking at a study evaluating the success of mitigation efforts through blood samples of residents that have been exposed. There is reporting from 15 states and the U.S. federal government on new lawsuits, legislation, and studies. The news keeps on coming at a rapid pace and we’re sure you’ll find useful information for you and your colleagues.
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The SGS PFAS Team
U.S., Canada and Around the World
PFAS Drinking Water Regulations: Full Steam Ahead Under Regan
For several months, we predicted that the Biden-Harris administration’s nomination of Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would accelerate PFAS drinking water regulations. Last week, Mr. Regan was confirmed with bipartisan Senate support to take charge of the EPA. On the same day of his confirmation, draft PFAS drinking water regulations were added to the Federal Register.
Canadian Officials Find PFAS Traces in Water from Memphremagog
Canadian officials have found traces of the emergent pollutant class PFAS in a drinking water intake area connected to Lake Memphremagog.
The Pentagon’s Multi-Billion Dollar “Forever Chemicals” Problem
Multiple states are pressuring the Department of Defense to address its widespread “forever chemical” problem after the Pentagon admitted hundreds of drinking water systems were contaminated through the use of flame-retardant foam at military bases around the country.
EPA Testing Shows Mosquito Control Containers Source of PFAS
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made new data available related to PFAS compounds found in fluorinated containers in which a mosquito control product was packaged and sold. EPA is also announcing its planned next steps to further characterize and address this potential source of contamination.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Maternal Reproductive Health Impacts
Scientists have identified pregnancy and menopause as two critical windows of exposure, in which women are more susceptible to harmful reproductive health effects. Chemicals found in consumer products and ubiquitous in the environment such as PFAS, flame retardants, plasticizers, and pesticides have been linked to poor maternal reproductive health during pregnancy and the development of other medical conditions throughout life, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, breast cancer, miscarriage, impaired fetal growth, and early ovarian aging.
Current Strategies for Managing PFAS in Leachate
Last week, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) held a Science Session webinar on “Weighing the Options: Current Strategies for Managing PFAS in Leachate,” which covered the science behind PFAS in leachate; the EPA’s interim guidance; knowledge gaps that exist; and more.
Study Investigates PFAS Changes in Blood
Questions about PFAS exposure in Williamtown, Oakey and Katherine will be the subject of a University of Queensland study, with affected residents invited to participate.
Settlement Deadline Nears in Tennessee Riverkeeper Lawsuit Against 3M
DECATUR, Ala. – Once again a deadline is looming in the ongoing federal lawsuit filed against 3M, Decatur, and Morgan County by the Tennessee Riverkeeper environmental group.
Water Near Arizona Air Force Base is Tainted in Latest Case
The U.S. Air Force says it will be distributing bottled water to thousands of residents and business owners near its base in suburban Phoenix until at least April, marking the latest case of chemicals from military firefighting efforts contaminating the water supply in a nearby community.
PFAS Contamination Draws Local, National Cleanup Efforts
There is growing local and national concern about the chemicals known as PFAS, which have been found in several Tucson groundwater wells. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has launched a program to clean up the contamination plume in Tucson’s groundwater.
DDW Drinking Water Notification Levels
The Division of Drinking Water (DDW) issued the notification and response level for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) of 0.5 parts per billion (ppb) and 5 ppb, respectively, based on toxicological endpoints. It also initiated the process of developing notification and response levels for four cyanotoxins: microcystins, cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a, and saxitoxin.
Elevated Levels of ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Some Colorado Drinking Water Districts
Poisonous “forever chemicals” have been found at levels higher than what some states say are safe in more than a dozen Colorado water districts. This, after massive statewide testing for the pollutants was conducted during the pandemic.
Lawmakers Look to Restrict Use of PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foam in Delaware
A toxic class of chemicals used in some firefighting foams made its way into drinking water in several places throughout the state. Lawmakers are looking to restrict use of the foam, to prevent more pollution.
Two New Bills Look to Protect Mainers Dealing with PFAS Chemicals
Two new bills could offer more protections for Mainers dealing with the effects of exposure to PFAS.
Fairfield Man Sues Sappi Over ‘Forever Chemical’ Contamination
SKOWHEGAN, Maine —A Fairfield man is suing Sappi Paper over pollution from so-called “forever chemicals.” The class-action suit filed Friday in Somerset County Superior Court, claims Sappi’s Somerset Mill in Skowhegan allowed dangerous chemicals to contaminate his property and drinking water.
MetroWest, Milford-Area Communities Awarded Grants to Address PFAS Drinking Water Contamination
Five MetroWest and Greater Milford communities are among 17 in the state to receive grants to address elevated levels of a potentially harmful chemical in public drinking water systems.
‘Forever Chemicals’ Pervade Drinking Water Sources on Cape Cod, Study Finds
The primary source of drinking water for tens of thousands of people on Cape Cod has elevated levels of toxic chemicals, according to a new study. Scientists at Harvard University found that several watersheds on the upper Cape around Mashpee had 40 times more PFAS — known as “forever chemicals” because they never fully degrade — than new state rules allow.
MassDEP Offering Free PFAS Testing of 40 Private Wells in Harvard
To better characterize the extent PFAS in drinking water in Massachusetts, the state Department of Environmental Protection has announced free PFAS testing for select private wells.
State Urges More Residents to Enroll in PFAS Study
The state health department is urging more West Michigan residents to sign up for a study that is looking into the impacts PFAS has had in the drinking water around Rockford and Parchment.
Closed Landfills in Big Stone, Chippewa, Meeker, Redwood and Stearns Counties Leaking PFAS Chemicals into Groundwater
Closed landfills in Big Stone, Chippewa, Meeker, and Redwood counties and near Paynesville in Stearns County are among those found to be leaking PFAS into groundwater.
PFOA, PFOS Levels At A Few Hudson Valley Schools Prompt NYS DOH Advisories
Three schools in the Hudson Valley have “Do Not Drink” advisories after two PFAS chemicals were found above New York state’s contamination limits. These are among the first schools with the higher levels since the state adopted new maximum contaminant levels for PFOA and PFOS over the summer.
DEC Finds No Link Between Norlite And PFAS Contamination In Cohoes
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says its study of soil and water surrounding the Norlite facility in Cohoes found no clear pattern of aerial contamination that could be traced to the plant.
Long Island Town Sues 3M, DuPont, Chemours Alleging PFAS Water Contamination
The Town of Riverhead, Long Island, has filed a suit against three companies for allegedly contaminating the town’s drinking water supply.
Clean Water Technology Center Reveals New Approach to Removing Toxins in Wastewater
The New York State Center for Clean Water Technology (CCWT) at Stony Brook University has made a series of critical discoveries regarding a new approach to protecting Long Island’s drinking water, groundwater, and surface waters. Some of the discoveries involve the likely human carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane, which has been found at higher levels in Long Island drinking water than anywhere else in the U.S.
Town Approves $33M Bond for Roslyn Water District
The Town of North Hempstead has approved a $33 million bond project requested by the Roslyn Water District to refurbish its water wellheads, oil tanks and a generator to protect from contaminants including 1,4-dioxane, perflourooctanoic acid, and perflourooctanesulfonic acid.
City Works to Ensure Safe Water, Cleared Streets
Protection of the city’s water took center stage at Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting. Council approved a resolution authorizing the hiring of outside counsel to represent the city in a national lawsuit case filed in a federal court in South Carolina. Public Works Chairperson Kelsey Swindler said this is in relation PFAS being found in the city’s water supplies.
PFAS Found In 72% of Drinking-Water Samples In Philly’s Suburbs
PFAS “forever chemicals” have been detected in 33 of 46 public water locations in Philadelphia’s suburban counties, or 72% of samples, although none exceeded totals of federally suggested limits, according to an Inquirer analysis of new state data.
Report: Northern Virginia is a ‘Hot Spot’ For Forever Chemicals
FAIRFAX, Va. — A new report found so-called “forever chemicals” in Northern Virginia tap water at levels far higher than limits advocated by an environmental group.
Navy to Send Letters to Farms Warning of Chemicals in Groundwater
Next week, the Navy will send notifications to owners and operators of agricultural operations near Navy installations that are affected by PFAS in groundwater.
Washington State to Ban PFAS in Four Types of Food Packaging
Washington state has announced that, based on the availability of safer alternatives, PFAS in four types of food packaging will be banned as of February 2023.
City of La Crosse Asks Wisconsin DNR to Test Wells for PFAS Contamination
Concerns about water contamination in the La Crosse area are growing. So much so that the city of La Crosse is asking the state for help. Beginning in the fall of 2020, the city tested for and found PFAS in more than 100 private wells around the airport.
Evers’ $25 Million Plan to Address PFAS Applauded by Conservation Group
Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend $25 million dollars to address PFAS issues over the next two years.
WMC challenges DNR’s Regulation of PFAS as a Hazardous Substance
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), the statewide chamber of commerce, and Leather Rich, a dry cleaning business in Oconomowoc, recently filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County challenging the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR’s) policies related to PFAS.
Town Continues to Face New PFAS Contamination Cases
More places in La Crosse County’s Town of Campbell are being impacted by the effects of PFAS, including some outside designated testing areas.