PFAS Update XXXVIII: As 2021 Ends, PFAS and Emerging Contaminants News Continues to Stand Out in the Environmental World

We’re wrapping up 2021 PFAS and emerging contaminants news with a variety of stories that reflect continued interest in government on all levels investigating, regulating, and funding research and remediation of PFAS contamination. No doubt, these issues will continue to be among the top newsmakers for environmental professionals in 2022.

In this PFAS Update XXXVIII, you’ll find a useful listing of PFAS-related conferences happening in 2022 and other news of national significance as well as what’s happening in 14 states from New York, where a new clean water law was recently enacted, to new testing in Iowa to the many PFAS-related stories coming from Massachusetts and Michigan, and much more.

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United States

Top PFAS Conferences in 2022 – Yahoo Finance
With all the hype about PFAS, we’ve put together a list of conferences to consider attending that can help answer your questions and network with key stakeholders.

Attorneys General from Eighteen States and DC Co-Sign Joint Letter Urging the Passage of the Bipartisan PFAS Action Act
The Attorneys General of eighteen states signed a joint letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works urging the chamber to pass the bipartisan PFAS Action Act.

‘Forever Chemicals’ can ‘Boomerang’ from Ocean Waves to Shore: Study
Many of the “forever chemicals” that end up in the ocean can “boomerang back to shore” after crashing waves reemit the compounds into the air, a new study has found.

Officials Underestimating ‘Forever Chemicals’ Lurking in US Food: Scientists
The American food supply is likely riddled with far more dangerous toxins than the average consumer would anticipate, and scientists say they lack sufficient, streamlined data about the “forever chemicals” lurking in food packaging and farmlands.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Holds Hearing on PFAS Contamination

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing recently to examine the harmful impacts of PFAS at military sites.

Green Beauty Product Testing Finds More Than 60% Have PFAS Indicators
Missing from “green cosmetic makers” product description is any reference to PFAS although one tube of that particular liquid lipstick contained 865 parts per million of the PFAS indicator fluorine, according to a new investigation from the environmental wellness community and blog Mamavation.


‘Our Generation’s Big Forever Chemical’: Senate Panel Crafts Bill to Tackle PFAS 

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill that would have Florida start looking at how to get rid of PFAS and related chemicals possibly still in use in Florida, and those already contaminating facilities, soil and groundwater throughout the Sunshine State.


Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Moves to Create New Groundwater Quality Standards

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim announced Monday that the agency has submitted proposed amendments to update toxicity data for various chemicals, update exposure factors, and introduce groundwater quality standards for PFAS chemicals.


Little To No PFAS Found at Most Smaller Drinking Water Utilities in First Round of State Tests

So far, the state has detected little or no toxic PFAS chemicals in Indiana’s smaller drinking water utilities. That’s according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s preliminary testing data from 24 smaller water utilities.


PFAS Found in Shallow Wells, Treated Water in West Des Moines, Iowa
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has found trace amounts of chemicals in three shallow wells and finished water belonging to West Des Moines Water Works.


‘Forever chemicals’ Found in Some Central Maine Chicken Eggs

Chicken eggs from two homesteads in central Maine contain elevated levels of toxic industrial compounds that are associated with serious health conditions, the state’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found.


PFAS Condemned at O.B. Hearing
At an Oak Bluffs board of health hearing Tuesday, scientists illustrated a litany of dangers associated with PFAS, and warned that Vineyarders are being misled by paid opinions that downplayed the risk of the chemicals.

Toxic PFAS Chemicals will be Added to Mass.’ Official List of Hazardous Substances

The widespread and pervasive chemicals known as PFAS will be added to the state’s list of “Toxic or Hazardous Substances” in December, according to officials at the quasi-governmental Toxics Use Reduction Institute. 

Natick Ends Water Ban Because PFAS Levels Remain Safe. Here’s What It Means
Backyard ice skaters, rejoice: Natick has lifted its ban on non-essential outdoor water use. Last Friday’s announcement came more than six months after the town began relying on the Elm Bank Water Treatment Plant after finding a high level of PFAS in another source of its drinking water. 

Rockland Contends with PFAS Above State Limits at Treatment Plant
One of the three water sources for the Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works has been testing above the state limit for PFAS, which are also called “forever chemicals.”


50 Tons of PFAS Soil Spilled Onto Highway After Wurtsmith Excavation
Fifty tons of soil contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals from an excavation site in northern Michigan spilled across the highway and into a roadside ditch last month when a hazardous waste truck crashed on Veterans Day.

MSU Research Team Receives $750K USDA Grant to Explore Ways to Mitigate Crop Uptake of PFAS
Five Michigan State University researchers have received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to study crop uptake of PFAS and how to prevent it.

A New Hub for Freshwater Research Opens in Sault Ste Marie

The new research facility sits on the banks of the St. Mary’s River in Sault Ste Marie. The Richard and Theresa Barch Center for Freshwater Research and Education opened Friday. Inside, state-of-the art laboratories will study Great Lakes fisheries, invasive species and emerging contaminants — like PFAS and freshwater oil spills.

Tests Find PFAS in School Near Cadillac | Local News

State officials will test residential wells near a school in Cadillac after results found PFAS in the water, including one over Michigan’s recently adopted limits.

Air Force, Aerostar Report on Success of PFAS Project on Former WAFB
Oscoda Township community members have long stressed the importance of tackling the area’s PFAS contamination at the source. One such move was made recently at the former fire training area (FT-02) of the Wurtsmith Air Force Base (WAFB), where 24,780 tons of PFAS-impacted soil were hauled away from the site.


Missouri to Test Drinking Water for ‘Forever Chemicals’
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

N.H. Advocates Call on Regulators to Close Saint-Gobain Facility
A group of New Hampshire lawmakers and community advocates called on the state’s Department of Environmental Services to shut down operations at the Saint-Gobain manufacturing facility in Merrimack last week.

North Carolina

To Understand Health Effects of PFAS Polluted Water, Residents Submit Blood Samples
Hundreds of Pittsboro residents volunteered hours over one weekend last month to be poked, prodded, weighed and measured in an attempt to learn more about the presence of chemicals in their bodies and, by extension, in their water systems.

New York

Official: New Clean Water Law “Step in the right direction” as Town Battles PFAS Chemicals
Supporters of a new law signed by Governor Hochul say it will expand testing for potentially dangerous PFAS chemicals, and make sure residents are notified when they’re found.


New Pennsylvania Funding will Connect More Homes with PFAS-Tainted Wells to Public Water
A new round of state funding will help additional residents of the area around the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base who have PFAS-contaminated private wells connect to clean public water.

Volunteer Group Finds PFAS in Water Samples from Winooski River

An environmental advocacy group says it has found concerning levels of “forever chemicals” in the Winooski River just downstream from the polluted Vermont Air National Guard base in South Burlington.


Wisconsin to Receive $850M in Federal Funding to Improve and Support Clean Drinking Water
New federal funding for Wisconsin will help address three water safety concerns including PFAS, lead, and nitrates.

Wisconsin Inches Forward Towards PFAS Standards

As awareness of PFAS chemicals spreads across the country, eight states, such as Ohio and Michigan, have enacted regulations to limit the amount of the chemicals that are allowed in the water. Wisconsin, however, has none. But that may soon change.