PFAS Update XXXV Takes You Around North America and the World for the News You Can Use

It’s our 35th edition of the SGS PFAS Update, and almost three years of delivering a monthly look at relevant PFAS news and emerging contaminants to environmental professionals like you. Our goal has always been to provide news that informs you of issues to help you be the best on the job.

As always, this edition presents up-to-the-moment issues involving contaminated sites, proposed regulations and legislation, litigation, impacts of PFAS and emerging contaminants on real people, and more. We begin with breaking news from the US EPA which aims to set some of the first limits for PFAS in wastewater. Also included in this edition, we head to a U.S. military base in Japan and around the U.S. covering a full variety of issues.

SGS is your one stop for the capacity, expertise, facilities, and track record needed to provide fast and accurate analysis on PFAS and emerging contaminants. We’re always here to help.

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.


U.S., Canada and the World

EPA Proposes First Limits to PFAS in Wastewater
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced plans for regulation that would for the first time set limits on levels of PFAS, that certain manufacturers and users of the chemical compound discharge in wastewater.

Canadian Soil and Groundwater Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Environmental and Human Health: Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) has posted The Canadian Soil and Groundwater Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Environmental and Human Health: Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS).

Okinawa Governor Wants On-site Scrutiny after Water Samples Show Toxic Discharge from Marine Base
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki called for an on-site investigation after high levels of toxins were found in wastewater flowing last month from a Marine base on the island.


Tennessee River Cleanup Lawsuit Against 3M, Decatur, Morgan County Nears Settlement Deadline
The Tennessee Riverkeeper lawsuit against 3M, Decatur and Morgan County and other chemical makers is approaching the court-ordered final mediation deadline, but it is not clear if the deadline will be met.


Maine Attorney General Enlisting Law Firms to Handle PFAS Litigation
Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey is looking to hire private law firms to help handle civil litigation filed by citizens over “forever chemicals” contamination.

Second Lawsuit Filed Over PFAS Contamination in Fairfield, Maine
Property owners in Fairfield who were exposed to chemicals known as PFAS are suing the major players in Maine’s paper industry for continuing their toxic nightmare.

Lawsuit Seeks Money to Test Somerset and Kennebec Residents for Diseases Caused by ‘Forever Chemicals’
Two Mainers whose well water contains high levels of “forever chemicals” believed to increase the risk of cancer and other diseases have sued 15 owners and former owners of paper mills and manufacturing plants in central Maine in U.S. District Court in Bangor.


‘Forever chemicals’ from Navy lab flowing into the Chesapeake Bay
The Navy disclosed recently that it has found high levels of so-called “forever chemicals” in soil, groundwater, and streams — not only on the base but beyond its fence line, including in the stream that flows through the Harris farm.


Chelmsford Board Backs Plan for PFAS Removal
With a deadline nearing, the town will send the state a plan to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS, associated with the public works yard at 54 Richardson Road.
The Select Board voted at its Sept. 27 meeting to submit a pump-and-treat plan to the Department of Environmental Protection, which has 21 days to approve the proposal.

Keating: Air Force agrees to Pay for PFAS Cleanups in Mashpee and Falmouth Wells
Thanks to work by U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., and Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., Mashpee received the positive news Friday that the U.S. Air Force will pay to clean up PFAS in two public drinking water wells and private wells, plus a third public drinking water well in Falmouth.

MA Firefighters Livid Over Decision to Continue Use of PFAS in PPE 
MA firefighters are furious over a Quincy-based association’s decision to allow the continued use of toxic chemicals—PFAS—in the manufacture of protective gear, reports

State DEP: PFAS Chemical Contamination at Hyannis Airport Not Investigated Enough

Cape Cod Gateway Airport officials have failed to adequately investigate the use and spread of PFAS and other chemicals there, according to findings from a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection audit of the airport’s assessment of hazardous contaminants on site.

As Barnstable Hunts for New Water Sources, PFAS Contamination Affects Search

In its hunt for new sources of drinking water, Barnstable must grapple with a grim reality spelled out in an April 2021 report by the engineering firm Weston & Sampson. “…It is generally understood that any source developed in Barnstable has a risk of detection of PFAS,” the report’s authors wrote.


MSU-Led Team Receives EPA Grant to Explore Biosolid Treatments, Effects of Pollutants Such as PFAS
A team of researchers in the Michigan State University Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, has received nearly $2 million from the EPA, the Great Lakes Water Authority and Colorado-based organizations Brown and Caldwell, Progressive Farms and South Platte Renew. The group will investigate the impact of current biosolid treatment methods used by wastewater treatment facilities on a variety of pollutants in soil, water and plants. …there is mounting concern that they inadvertently introduce harmful chemicals such as PFAS, and pharmaceuticals and personal-care products.

Officials Check for PFAS in Surface Water Outside CRTC

Environment officials hope to learn if dangerous chemicals have made their way to surface water outside the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, the Michigan National Guard reported on Wednesday.

Unsafe Levels of PFAS Found at Fisher Body Site in Lansing 
The contaminant PFAS has been found at the former site of the Fisher Body Plant on Lansing’s west side at levels more than twelve times what’s considered safe.

PFAS Found in Camp Grayling Stormwater Runoff; Public Meeting Planned 
State and military officials said they found toxic PFAS chemicals in stormwater runoff from Camp Grayling that spills directly into Crawford County’s Lake Margrethe.


Chemical Contaminant Found in Private Wells in 2 Twin Cities Area Neighborhoods
A chemical contaminant considered a potential health risk has been detected in some private wells in two Twin Cities communities. The contaminant 1,4-dioxane was found in wells in Andover’s Red Oaks neighborhood and in Gem Lake north of St. Paul, officials from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and state health department said Thursday.

New York

Groundwater Pollution at Closed Riverhead Landfill is 10x State Limit, Investigation Finds
Chemical contaminants known to have a wide range of health risks have been detected at the Riverhead landfill site on Youngs Avenue at levels up to more than 10 times the state drinking water standard, prompting an investigation by environmental and health officials into potential contamination of nearby private wells.

North Carolina

Researchers Receive $17M Grant to Explore Links Between Contaminants and Liver Cancer
Researchers at NC State have been awarded a $17 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore a potential link between environmental contaminants and liver cancer.

Pittsboro Leaders Call for National Attention to Town’s PFAS Troubles
In a specially convened Pittsboro board meeting last week — the second since large “slugs” of 1,4-Dioxane were recently discharged into the Haw River, from where Pittsboro draws its drinking water — commissioners and town staff doubled down on previous demands for upstream water users to stop polluting the Haw, and called for national media to heighten social pressure.

Chemours Violates GenX pollution standards for third time in 2021: DEQ
North Carolina cited Chemours on Thursday for multiple state air pollution violations, saying the company has been exceeding its GenX air pollution limits for much of 2021.

Rhode Island

New Research Finds Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Indoor Air
University of Rhode Island researchers have found that in addition to polluting food and water, s PFAS is contaminating the indoor air we breathe.

South Carolina

What’s in Your Makeup: How to Spot Toxic Ingredients
It was around the time that Wendy Henry in Greenville got pregnant with her first child that a light went off. “I think that’s a really big time for especially women to think more about what they’re putting in their body because it’s not just affecting them it’s also affecting babies,” said Henry. The Greenville mother of three wasn’t just rethinking food, but products she put on her skin, mainly lotion and makeup with all those ingredients you can hardly pronounce.


Environmental Groups Worry PFAS Lawsuit Filed by Business Lobby Puts Wisconsin’s Strongest Pollution Protection Law at Risk
A judge on Friday blocked environmental advocacy groups from intervening in a case the groups say could overturn important environmental protections under the state’s hazardous spills law.