PFAS Update XXXII: PFAS and Emerging Contaminant News for Environmental Professionals

Find the Latest News Around North America on PFAS and Emerging Contaminants

Find the Latest News Around North America on PFAS and Emerging Contaminants

This 32nd issue of the SGS PFAS Update is a broad mix of stories affecting the entire United States and Canada as well, including a state-by-state look at PFAS in drinking water regulations and PFAS detection in people and wildlife of northern Canada. This is followed by news from 17 states that have researched PFAS, tested for it, found it, regulated it, and brought legal suits relating to it. From Alabama, to Alaska, to Arizona (and that’s just the A’s), PFAS and emerging contaminants continue to be among the most talked about and acted environmental issue, and we make it easy for you to dig into the hot topics.

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United States and Canada  
PFAS Emissions Could Be Easier to Identify Under New Federal Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency will be required to identify and publicly share the sources of PFAS emissions under a new provision announced Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Toxic, Long-Lasting Contaminants Detected in People Living in Northern Canada
Researchers have recently found that several long-lasting human-made contaminants have been building up in Arctic lakespolar bears and ringed seals and other wildlife.

State-by-State Regulation of PFAS in Drinking Water
n the absence of an enforceable federal PFAS drinking water standard, many states have embarked on the process of regulating PFAS compounds in drinking water.  This client alert surveys the maximum contaminant levels (“MCLs”), as well as guidance and notification levels, for PFAS in drinking water that have been enacted or proposed at the state level.

EPA Announces Three PFAS Actions, Including Proposed TSCA Section 8(a) Reporting Rule
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 10, 2021, three actions intended to protect communities from PFAS.

Burger King Plans to Remove PFAS from Food Packaging
The parent company of fast-food retailer Burger King has revealed plans to stop using PFAS in its food packaging.

Navy to Sample Drinking Water Wells Near Outlying Fields in Florida and Alabama
The U.S. Navy is preparing to sample drinking water wells near Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field’s Outlying Landing Fields (OLFs) in Florida and Alabama beginning in June. The investigation includes OLFs Evergreen, Brewton, Silverhill, Summerdale, Barin and Wolf in Alabama; and OLFs Harold, Pace, Spencer, Santa Rosa and Holley in Florida.

The Navy will be sampling drinking water wells within a designated sampling area at each OLF for PFAS.

City Testing for PFAS in Soil, Groundwater Around Airport
City officials are trying to determine the extent of contamination from PFAS, from their use at the Juneau International Airport and have hired a private company to conduct testing in the area.

Why PFAS Levels are Rapidly Rising in Tucson Groundwater
The sudden spike in PFAS contamination in wells serving a south-side water treatment plant is a product of humans and nature, experts say.

Ducey Sends $2M to Tucson to Restart Water Plant Shut by Military Pollution
The state of Arizona will provide $2 million to help Tucson Water restart a treatment plant shut down because of severe groundwater contamination near the Tucson International Airport from firefighting foam used by the military.

House Approves Ban on ‘Forever’ Chemicals that have Appeared in CT Wells
HARTFORD — House lawmakers passed a sweeping ban on PFAS Monday night, citing a number of instances in which the toxic family of chemicals appeared in Connecticut water supplies in recent years.

More PFAS Testing in Delaware Could Be Coming. Where Does the Contamination in New Castle Stand?
It’s been seven years since public water utilities in New Castle shut down and treated drinking water wells after finding toxic PFAS chemicals in them. But the state still doesn’t know for certain the source or extent of the groundwater contamination there.

University of Florida Reveals 1st Findings of ‘Forever Chemical’ Study in Brevard County The University of Florida is nearly a year into a 3-year study on what happens with “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, which can be found at some military installations, during natural disasters such as hurricanes and other flooding events.

Illinois/Michigan/Ohio/New York
It’s Literally Raining PFAS Around the Great Lakes, say Researchers
Rain that fell on Ohio this spring contained a surprisingly high amount of toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, according to raw data from a binational Great Lakes monitoring program that tracks airborne pollution.

Contractor Sprays Rockton Plant Fire with Harmful ‘Forever Chemical,’ Prompting Water Testing
A private firefighting company hired by the owner of a manufacturing plant that exploded near Rockford Monday initially sprayed the blaze with a harmful chemical foam that is now prompting water testing to check for contamination.

It Could Soon Be Illegal for Sauget Company to Burn Group of Chemicals Linked to Cancer
It could soon be illegal for Illinois companies to incinerate a class of potentially cancer-causing substances known as “forever chemicals” because they accumulate in the body and environment without breaking down.

Researchers Find PFAS in Hundreds of Cosmetic Products
An international team of researchers led by researchers from universities in Indiana found potentially toxic PFAS chemicals in hundreds of cosmetic products sold here in the Midwest.

Class Action Suit Brought Against Paper-Making Facilities Regarding PFAS Contamination
The owners of several paper making facilities in Maine as well as a landfill are being named in a class action suit regarding PFAS contamination.

Voters Move to Reduce PFAS in Drinking Water with $13.2M in Spending
DUDLEY – Voters at town meeting Monday approved a $22.8 million fiscal 2022 operating budget and the borrowing of up to $13.2 million to remediate PFAS chemical contamination in the town’s public drinking water.

State Officials to Continue Testing Grayling Sites for PFAS
Testing of water sources near Camp Grayling for PFAS contamination will continue this summer.

Avoid Surface Water Foam While Recreating Outdoors, Health Officials Warn
LANSING, MI — Michigan officials are advising people to avoid touching surface water foam as they hit the great outdoors for Memorial Day weekend.

Bemidji City Council Reaches Consensus on Water Connection Incentives
Bemidji property owners with private wells may receive incentives in the future to connect to the city’s water system.

New Hampshire
Should NH Give Granite Staters More Time to File PFAS lawsuits?
PFAS may be called “forever chemicals” but you only have three years to file a lawsuit after discovering you were harmed by PFAS.  A bill in the New Hampshire Legislature would double that time limit, potentially opening the door to more PFAS-related claims.

UNH Research: Journey of PFAS In Wastewater Facilities Highlights Regulation Challenges
DURHAM, N.H.–Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have conducted two of the first studies in New England to collectively show that PFAS, found in everything from rugs to product packaging, end up in the environment differently after being processed through wastewater treatment facilities–making it more challenging to set acceptable screening levels.

New Jersey
Camden City and Four Others Sue for PFAS Contamination in Drinking Water Supplies
Camden City, Middlesex Water Company, Hopatcong Borough, Pequannock Township and Point Pleasant Borough, have filed suit in the US District Court in the District of South Carolina, where these nationwide lawsuits are venued, against 3M Company, Dupont and 15 other corporations to recover “the substantial costs necessary to protect and restore certain of its drinking water supply wells, which are contaminated with PFAS. The contamination exceeds New Jersey’s maximum contamination levels (“MCL”) established by the Drinking Water Quality Institute.

New Mexico
NM Governor Files Petition to Classify PFAS as Hazardous Waste
The governor’s office is petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to classify a chemical to the center of groundwater contamination as hazardous. Cannon and Holloman Air Force bases used firefighting foam that contained PFAS which then contaminated water.

New York
Newburgh Sees Progress in Lengthy Clean Water Fight
Five years ago, Newburgh’s 28,000 residents discovered they had been exposed to hazardous levels of PFAS for more than 20 years through contaminated drinking water.

PFAS Blood Tests in Newburgh Show High Levels of Five Chemicals
A study that measured levels of PFAS in the blood of Newburgh area residents showed they had high levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies that likely came from the city’s past water source.

Environmental Groups Seek to Intervene in Case Over DNR’s PFAS Regulation Authority
Environmental and citizens groups are looking to get involved in a legal dispute between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the state’s largest business association over how state regulators address PFAS contamination. They fear the lawsuit could undermine a state environmental law that protects communities dealing with the so-called forever chemicals.

Tests Show PFAS Contamination in 500 French Island Wells
LA CROSSE, Wis. — More than 500 wells on French Island have been contaminated with some level of PFAS, according to final results of state testing.

New PFAS Fish Consumption Advisories for Yahara Chain of Lakes and Waterways to the Rock River
MADISON, Wis. – Based on results from fish sampling conducted in 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) are recommending new PFAS-based fish consumption advisories for Yahara Chain waters in Dane and Rock counties.