“WESTFIELD – A letter sent to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, signed by 25 U.S. senators, is welcome news to Westfield Residents Advocating for Themselves (WRAFT) founder Kristen Melo.

‘It is a very strong step forward in advocacy for communities struggling with PFAS contamination in their water supplies,’ said Melo.

Three of four public drinking water wells on the north side of Westfield are inactive due to contamination from firefighting foam used at Barnes Air National Guard Base, according to city officials. Temporary filtration of two of the wells is underway.

The letter, dated April 13, states: ‘We write regarding the serious public health concerns related to groundwater contamination from Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in communities and on Department of Defense (DOD) installations across our states, and to urge you to take swift action to address these concerns.’

In addition to Massachusetts’ U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, the letter was signed by senators from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia…

‘In 2016, the EPA established a lifetime health advisory (LHA) of 70 parts per trillion for concentrations of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. However, the LHA is not legally enforceable and cannot be used to determine remediation responsibilities and transfers of surplus DOD property under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA),’ the letter states.”

Read the full article by Hope Tremblay.