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Apr 21, 2018 - States taking the lead in enforcing limits on PFAS contamination in drinking water

Though the first reports of PFOA in drinking water are now two decades old, the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to set enforceable limits on it. The agency did set drinking water health advisory limits for PFOA and PFOS in 2016, but those can’t be used to enforce cleanups - nor do the limits prevent further use of products containing any of the chemicals in their class. Late last month, Washington passed the first state laws banning firefighting foam and food packaging containing not just PFOA and PFOS, but the entire class of chemicals to which they belong.  Read the New York Times article.

Feb 21, 2018 - Newburgh takes first step in suing state, feds over PFOS water contamination

The city of Newburgh has put Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the federal government and two private companies on notice that it plans to file civil lawsuits over the contamination of its reservoir with a toxic chemical.  Washington Lake, the drinking water source for about 30,000 residents, was contaminated with perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS. The city plans to sue under a provision of the federal Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Read More at Politico

Jan 23, 2018 - Washington state Legislature takes up bills to restrict chemicals used in firefighting foam, packaging

Firefighting foams containing a class of chemicals linked to water pollution would face major new restrictions under a bill introduced in the Washington state House of Representatives.

Some polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl chemicals - known as PFAS - have turned up in state waterways and drinking-water wells, and surveys indicate they are present in the blood of most Americans. In humans, some of these chemicals pose health concerns that include elevated risks for kidney and testicular cancer. Read More at the Seattle Times

Dec 6, 2017 - New Jersey Seeks Stricter Limit on Chemical in Drinking Water

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - It has been nearly 20 years since a hazardous class of chemicals found in common consumer products like nonstick cookware and mattresses was manufactured in the United States, but it is still present in drinking water. Now, New Jersey, which has some of the highest concentrations of the chemicals, is seeking to take the lead in controlling the material and reducing its threat to public health. The class of chemicals, known as perfluorinated chemicals, has been linked to illnesses including cancer, high cholesterol and developmental problems in young children, prompting the United States Environmental Protection Agency to issue a health advisory about what officials say is a safe limit in drinking water.  Read More at the New York Times

May 27, 2017 - The Story Behind the E.P.A’s Contaminated Water Revelation

Last week 5.2 million Americans learned that their drinking water is contaminated with man-made chemicals linked to cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory for two compounds: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is used in the manufacture of Teflon and other nonstick substances, and the related perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). An E.P.A. health advisory is not a regulation; it is nonbinding and nonenforceable. It does, however, require a public water system to notify its customers of the presence of the chemical and the dangers it poses. As a result, the E.P.A.’s announcement had immediate effects. Within hours, public wells were shut down in Horsham, Pa., and Maricopa County, Ariz.   Read More at the New York Times
News and articles about the rapidly changing regulatory response to the threat micropollutants pose to people and the environment.
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