PFAS Update XXXVI – State, National, and Global News for Environmental Professionals

An explosively busy PFAS and emerging contaminants news month might be attributed to reactions to the Biden administration’s new plan to combat PFAS pollution, which you’ll read about below. At the same time, SGS PFAS Update XXXVI, covers a record 17 of the United States, where PFAS and emerging contaminants are making news about discoveries in new locations and wildlife, proposed regulations and more. And it’s not only in the U.S., as you’ll see, around the world in New Zealand, PFAS has been detected in dolphins.

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U.S. and Around the World

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Launches Plan to Combat PFAS Pollution
Eight agencies announce steps, including new EPA roadmap, to take comprehensive approach to addressing PFAS and advancing clean air, water, and food.

EPA to Decide on Requiring PFAS Health Effects Testing
The Environmental Protection Agency said it will decide within 90 days on an Oct. 14, 2020, petition to require Chemours to test the health effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, under the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, Center for Environmental Health announced Thursday.

Dolphin Study Finds Surprising Level of PFAS in New Zealand
Research led by Massey University has revealed surprising levels of an environmental contaminant, despite restrictions on its use in New Zealand. The study was conducted by examining deceased dolphins which recorded higher than expected levels of PFAS.


Low Levels of PFAS Detected on Eastside Well
Last August, Tucson Water found PFAS in a groundwater well near Speedway and Houghton.


Landmark California Law Bans ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Products for Infants, Children 
Today, in a major victory for consumers, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation to protect infants and children from the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS by banning the compounds in cribs, playpens and many other products. The ban takes effect on July 1, 2023.


Colorado May Have More Sites with Dangerous ‘Forever Chemicals’ Than Any Other
Colorado may have more locations where dangerous PFAS “forever chemicals” are stored and used than any other state in the U.S., according to a database released by the Environmental Protection Agency after challenges from a watchdog group.


Bethany Crest Residents Asked to Use Bottled Water in Response to High Levels of PFAS
The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is asking residents of the Bethany Crest community to use bottled water for drinking and cooking. The agency made this announcement as the water system is being evaluated for high levels of PFAS in the water.


Forever Chemicals’ Found in Fairfield Industrial Drive Fish Ponds; Town Advises Against Consumption
After the Maine Department of Environmental Protection found high levels of “forever chemicals” known as PFAS in the fish ponds on Industrial Drive in Fairfield, the town is recommending that people do not eat the fish from those ponds.

Maine DEP Identifies 34 Towns with High-Priority Sites PFAS Chemicals Testing
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection on Friday released a list of 34 towns where staff will soon start looking for contamination with PFAS. The testing is part of a years-long plan targeting sites where sludge, septic tank sewage and industrial waste was spread as fertilizer. Kevin Miller reports.


‘Forever Chemicals’ Trigger First Fish Consumption Warning in Chesapeake Region
Anglers who fish Piscataway Creek off the Potomac River are being warned to limit their consumption of what they catch after Maryland regulators discovered elevated levels of so-called “forever chemicals” in fish downstream of Joint Base Andrews, an air base in Prince George’s County.

Maryland Will Again Spray Mosquito Pesticide Permanone 30-30
Maryland officials say the state will again spray pesticide Permanone 30-30 to control mosquito populations, after EPA testing determined it does not contain dangerous PFAS.


Chatham Voters Approve Water Capital Articles Worth $5.9 Million
Chatham voters  said yes to $1.4 million for the engineering and design of new water treatment facility to deal with iron, manganese and PFAS for Wells 5 and 8. PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not biodegrade. PFAS levels were found to be above the state’s acceptable limits when testing was done in April and September.

Public Health Advocates Urge State to Ban PFAS in Food Packaging
The range of substances that are slowly coming to be more widely known as “forever chemicals” are often used in the manufacturing of pizza boxes, candy wrappers, bakery bags and other food storage containers.

PFAS Detected in Sandwich Water District Well
The Sandwich Water District took one of its wells offline after two separate samples tested positive for PFAS.


Gov. Whitmer Signs Directive Limiting State Purchases of Products Containing PFAS
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Directive Wednesday to minimize the purchase of products containing PFAS by state government.

PFAS Contamination at Lansing Airport Under Investigation
An investigation is ongoing to assess potential PFAS contamination at the Capital Region International Airport.


As EPA Cracks Down On ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Missouri to Start Testing Drinking Water
Missouri could start testing small drinking water systems for harmful “forever chemicals” by the end of the year as the federal government ramps up its own regulatory efforts.

New Hampshire

Federal Support Builds for PFAS Mitigation Efforts in New Hampshire
The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said the White House is on board with helping New Hampshire communities deal with PFAS contamination while he visited the Granite State on Wednesday.

New Mexico

Testing for Agricultural Water Pollution Completed in Eastern New Mexico. Levels Safe So Far
Industrial water pollution is so far not threatening New Mexicans’ health as a study conducted by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) of water pollution in eastern New Mexico reported levels PFAS were below the “most stringent” state standards.

New York

Lawmakers, Advocates Call on Hochul to Sign Clean Water Bill
Lawmakers, advocates call on Hochul to sign clean water bill ALBANY, N.Y. — Recently, organizations representing local governments, parents, and teachers, and communities harmed by PFAS pollution called on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign S.1759A/A.126A into law. This follows more than 40 organizations sending a sign-on letter on Sept. 24 urging the Governor to do the same.


OHA to Test Water Systems for PFAS
Drinking water systems in the Cottage Grove and Creswell area will be among about 150 across the state tested for PFAS as part of an Oregon Health Authority (OHA) drinking water monitoring project to be conducted this fall.


Some Butler Twp. Property Owners Affected by ‘Forever Chemicals’ Eager for City Water
Some Butler Twp. private well owners concerned about their health and property values declining would like to transition to public water because a group of chemicals — linked to cancer and other health effects — has been detected in the area’s ground water.


PFAS Complicates the Problem of Handling ‘Garbage Juice’ from State’s Only Landfill
Vermont’s only trash landfill has a big problem: How to get rid of leachate — the liquid waste from landfills that’s sometimes called “garbage juice.”


State Officials Say Elevated Levels of PFAS Found in Chickahominy Watershed
State officials said Thursday that Newport News Waterworks had detected “elevated” levels of PFAS in waterways in the Chickahominy River watershed from which the utility sources water.


PFAS Found in Madison Sewage; Utility Calls Test Results ‘Favorable’
Toxic PFAS compounds known as “forever chemicals” have been found in Madison’s sewage, including the treated wastewater dumped into local waters and sludge spread on area farm fields.