SGS PFAS Update XLII: Your PFAS and Emerging Contaminants Wrap Up

From an island that’s part of Washington state, to Iowa in the heart of the Midwest, to as far northeast U.S. as you can get in the state of Maine, PFAS and emerging contaminants continue to make science, legal and business news headlines. In Whidbey Island, Washington, the Navy has spent $24 million so far investigating groundwater contamination; in Iowa, 70 community water supplies have found detectable levels of toxic chemicals; and in Fairfield, Maine, turkeys are being tested for the presence of PFAS.  

Throughout the U.S. and specifically 12 states in this 42nd issue of the SGS PFAS Update, report in with news environmental professionals like you can use.

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United States

Synthetic “Forever Chemicals” Known as PFAS Linked to Liver Damage
Exposure to a class of widely used synthetic chemicals is connected to liver damage according to a new study conducted by researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and published April 27th, 2022, in Environmental Health Perspectives.

PFAS: The ‘Forever Chemicals’ You Couldn’t Escape if You Tried
Based on nothing more than their name, PFAS substances certainly don’t sound like something you’d want to find in your burger wrapper. But according to a recent investigation by Consumer Reports, they’re very much there — as well as in your salad bowl, fry bag and sandwich wrap.

Airport PFAS Bill Advances in the Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) to reduce the spread of toxic PFAS contamination at commercial airports has advanced in the Senate.

Starbucks will Eliminate All PFAS in Its Packaging
Starbucks earlier this month announced its first commitment to eliminate harmful PFAS chemicals in its food packaging in both the U.S. and abroad, joining other large companies in banning the toxics.

Class Action Against McDonald’s Claims PFAS Chemicals in Packaging Migrate into Food

McDonald’s is facing a multi-state consumer class action lawsuit over its use of PFAS substances in packaging because of alleged migration of those chemicals into food products.


Officials Warn Fish from Northern Connecticut River Contains High Levels of PFAS
VERNON, Conn. — While spring fishing season is well underway, state health and environmental officials have issued an advisory saying that not all of Connecticut’s rivers are carrying fish safe for consumption.

Delaware and Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, Delaware Move to Limit ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water

Pennsylvania and Delaware have joined a growing list of states moving to set enforceable limits in drinking water for two “forever chemicals,” which have been linked to health concerns, including cancer.


Iowa Department of Natural Resources Finds ‘Forever Chemicals’ in 12 Water Supplies
A sampling of about 70 community water supplies in Iowa found detectable levels of toxic chemicals that persist indefinitely in the environment in a dozen of them, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


Wildlife Officials Test Fairfield-area Turkeys for PFAS Ahead of Hunting Season
Maine wildlife officials have begun testing turkeys from the Fairfield area for so-called forever chemicals ahead of the state’s scheduled start of turkey hunting season.


Product Bans Among Panel’s Recommendations to Rein in PFAS Chemicals
After almost a year of studying how “forever chemicals” touch nearly all aspects of life in Massachusetts, the PFAS Interagency Task Force released its final report Wednesday with recommendations that the state regulates PFAS chemicals as a class, restrict the sale of consumer products with intentionally-added PFAS, and work to raise public awareness of the ubiquity of the problem.

Report Assesses PFAS Use by Major Brands, Retailers

One of the top manufacturers of jeans is leading the country in implementing policies aimed at eliminating the use of “forever chemicals,” substances that have been linked to negative health effects, according to a new report released by a national research group.


High Concentrations of PFAS in Blood may be Linked to Higher Diabetes in Middle-Aged Women

PFAS, a group of so-called “forever chemicals,” are ubiquitous in our environment—in our rivers, in our clothes, seeping through the cooking utensils in our kitchens. And, according to a new University of Michigan study, high concentrations of these chemicals are associated with increased risk to diabetes in midlife women—similar to the risks posed by cigarette smoking and being overweight.

Small Portions: Michigan Puts PFAS Advisory on Lake Superior Rainbow Smelt
Citing new data showing PFAS contamination in Lake Superior rainbow smelt is more widespread than previously known, state regulators are again warning anglers and diners to limit their meals of the popular sportfish.

New Hampshire

Cornish Elementary School is One of Many Properties Dealing with ‘Forever Chemicals’ Now

CORNISH — Students at the Cornish Elementary School get their drinking water from 5-gallon jugs, and the sinks where they wash their hands have signs warning not to drink the contaminated water from the tap.

New York

Over $206 Million Allocated to Drinking Water Projects that Treat Emerging Contaminants
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the state Environmental Facilities Corporation has awarded $638 million in grants to municipalities and public authorities for 199 water infrastructure projects across the state that protect public health or improve water quality. Nearly $601 million in Water Infrastructure Improvement Act grants and over $37 million in additional federal subsidies will support approximately $1.6 billion in total infrastructure investment. The grants are projected to contribute over 35,000 jobs to New York’s economy and save taxpayers an estimated $1.4 billion.

Two Area Landfills Show High PFAS Levels in Leachate

SENECA FALLS — In testing that took place four years ago, high levels of polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, and several related compounds were found in leachate originating from the Seneca Meadows and Ontario County landfills.


Emmaus Sues PFAS Makers, Seeks Money to Clean Up Water Contamination

EMMAUS, Pa. – A Lehigh County borough is suing dozens of companies that make toxic chemicals that were found in its water supply system.


Scott expected to sign bill spurred by PFAS pollution in Bennington | Business
Long-sought legislation to allow access to medical monitoring for those exposed to toxic chemicals through industrial or other contamination is expected to be signed this week by Gov. Phil Scott.


NAS Whidbey has Spent $24m on PFAS Contamination

The Navy has spent $24 million so far on investigating and responding to contamination of Whidbey Island groundwater from a chemical found in a type of firefighting foam used to extinguish jet-fuel fires.

New Washington State Bill is the “Fastest Timeline in The Nation” for Phasing Out PFAS

A new Washington state bill, signed into law last Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee, aims to phase out PFAS in select consumer products by 2025.


Madison Mayor Wants to Spend $425K On PFAS Filtration System

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway wants to spend $425,000 to design a system to filter PFAS chemicals out of a city well.

Wisconsin Judge to Rule on DNR Authority to Regulate PFAS

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge has ruled that the state Department of Natural Resources lacks the authority to regulate PFAS chemicals without established standards. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and an Oconomowoc dry cleaning business.

‘Following the Plume’: Pilot Study Underway to Clean Up PFAS Contamination in Dane County

It started with a hunch. Larry Kinsman, founder and owner of the environmental remediation company Orin Technologies, suspected that a particular microbial treatment might see success when applied towards degrading PFAS — the carcinogenic pollutant that threatens water systems across Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region.

Tyco Replies to DNR’s Suit on PFAS Pollution

Johnson Controls and Tyco want a lawsuit filed by the state, alleging they violated the state’s hazardous spills law, to be dismissed – claiming, in part, that the state is acting beyond its authority by filing suit.