SGS PFAS Update XLIV: PFAS News for Environmental Professionals

16 states are featured in this issue of the SGS PFAS Update, as well as interesting national stories. The major announcement of EPA PFAS drinking health advisories and $1 billion in funding leads us off. In places that haven’t appeared often or at all here before like Utah and Minnesota, PFAS is being identified and reported. In Indiana and Michigan, research is being conducted on PFAS in consumer products and remediating PFAS in soil respectively. And, as always, many more stories about legal action, proposed legislation, PFAS discovery are highlighted.

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United States
EPA Announces New Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Chemicals, $1 Billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Strengthen Health Protections
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released four drinking water health advisories for PFAS in the latest action under President Biden’s action plan to deliver clean water and Administrator Regan’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Linked to High Blood Pressure in Women, New Study Shows

Middle-aged women with higher blood concentrations of PFAS, also called “forever chemicals” and found in water, soil, air and food, were at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, compared to their peers who had lower levels of these substances, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

Proposed Federal Grants Would Help Remove PFAS from Rural Water Supplies

Congress is considering new legislation to provide grants for testing and filtration systems to remove so-called forever chemicals and other contaminants from drinking water supplies in rural areas.

Utilities Voice PFAS Liability Fear as Chemicals Head to Superfund List
The cleanup market for PFAS chemicals will accelerate in every state, last for decades and cost tens of billions as the Biden administration moves to designate two major groups as hazardous enough for Superfund list status and to set drinking water contamination limits for up to 29 substances, say industry participants.

Blood Study Shows High PFAS levels in Moose Creek Residents from Well Water Contamination

Moose Creek is six miles south of North Pole on the Richardson Highway, and it is beautiful on a sunny June day. Inside the firehouse, federal health experts are discussing finding PFAS chemicals in the blood from local residents.

Microbes Can Degrade the Toughest PFAS, Says New Study
Engineers at the University of California (Riverside) are the first to report selective breakdown of a particularly stubborn class of PFAS called fluorinated carboxylic acids (FCAs) by common microorganisms.

Colorado’s US Senators Say More PFAS Chemical Cleanup is Needed Around El Paso County

Colorado’s two U.S. Senators are asking the Air Force to expand a pilot program which removes PFAS chemicals from contaminated water sources in El Paso County.

Colorado Bans PFAS in Oil- and Gas-Extraction Products
Colorado has become the first US state to ban PFAS in products used in drilling for oil and gas.

Researchers Test Drinking Water, Face Masks for PFAS
Scientists at the University of Notre Dame studying the presence of PFAS in consumer products and textiles have expanded their search for potential sources of PFAS exposure — developing an effective method of testing for PFAS in drinking water and adding face masks to a growing list of products tested for the toxic class of chemicals.

The Air Force Will Investigate Former Loring Air Force Base for PFAS
U.S. Air Force engineers this summer will test more than 20 sites at the former Loring Air Force Base for so-called forever chemicals to ensure they have not spread since the base closed in 1994. 

As Vote Nears on Fairfield Water Expansion Project, State Says It’s Unable to Fund Filter Systems ‘In Perpetuity’
As residents prepare to take a nonbinding vote on the proposed $48 million expansion of the public water system, the state has notified town officials that it does not have the money available to maintain water filtration systems “in perpetuity.”

Even Anglers Who Embrace Catch-And-Release are Alarmed about PFAS in Fish

As Ryan Doyon helped his 6-year-old son untangle a hook from the bottom of Togus Pond two weeks ago, he laughed and relished sharing his favorite pastime on his favorite lake. But Doyon stopped with concern when discussing the PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” found by the state in fish in seven Maine waters, some within 30 miles of Togus Pond.

Agency to Conduct Dust Sampling for PFAS Exposure This Week
Representatives from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry are coming to Westfield this week to conduct another round of PFAS data collection through the dust that settles in people’s homes.

How Simulations Could Help Get PFAS Out of Soil
Michigan State University chemists are discovering new information to help remediate “forever chemicals” by showing for the first time how they interact with soil at the molecular level.

Where Tannery Spread Sludge on Michigan Farm, a PFAS Problem Grows

The bucolic farmland along the Newaygo and Oceana County border seems far removed from the perils of industrial pollution.

$7M Secured to Extend Municipal Water to Hundreds of Cascade Township Homes in PFAS Hotspot
A push to connect hundreds of homes in Cascade Township to municipal water, in a neighborhood where residential wells have been polluted by PFAS chemicals, would receive $7.2 million in a bill approved by the U.S. House.

MN Dept. of Health Releases New Dashboard on PFAS Levels in Drinking Water
The Minnesota Department of Health has released a new interactive dashboard and map to let residents who mainly get their water from public water systems see reported levels PFAS.

New Hampshire
1,000s of People in Southern NH are Probably Drinking PFAS-Polluted Water

About 1,500 residential wells in southern New Hampshire have been found to be polluted with PFAS as a result of emissions from a nearby plastics plant.

New Mexico
Cannon PFAS Destroyed Longtime Clovis Farmer’s Dairy
Art Schaap remembers the day in 2018 when people from Cannon Air Force Base knocked on his front door and asked to test his water. The Clovis dairy farmer had seen airmen use firefighting foam during training exercises. But he soon learned that toxic chemicals from that foam had leaked off-base into the groundwater beneath his land. “That’s when the nightmare began,” he said.

North Carolina
Water in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill Contains PFAS Above New EPA Health Advisory Levels
Samples taken in recent years show that unfinished drinking water from dozens of utilities across North Carolina contain concentrations of “forever chemicals” well above the interim health advisory levels set this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Forever Chemicals” Detected in Park City Groundwater, State and Federal Regulations Expected Later This Year
The Park City Council received a drinking water update at last week’s meeting and was made aware that PFAS have been detected in the city’s ground water.

State Asks South Hero for a Deeper Study of PFAS Contamination at a Closed Landfill
Vermont officials are asking the South Hero Selectboard to further investigate the extent of PFAS contamination at the town’s closed landfill, where previous testing uncovered the highest amount of “forever chemicals” of any similar facility in the state.

Yakima Homeowners React to Military’s Next Phase of Water Well Tests
The Yakima Training Center has announced there will be another round of water well testing for PFAS.

Marshfield, Adams Among Latest Cities to Shut Down Wells for PFAS Contamination

The cities of Marshfield and Adams have joined a growing list of Wisconsin communities that have shut down municipal wells due to concerning levels of PFAS in their drinking water.