Read the full article by Edward Fitzpatrick (Boston Globe)

“PROVIDENCE — With Massachusetts towns finding toxic chemicals in their drinking water, environmental advocates are stepping up the pressure for Rhode Island to adopt regulations for the ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS.

Massachusetts enacted new safety regulations last fall, and 20 percent of public water sources that have done testing report PFAS concentrations above what state regulations allow, prompting some towns there to distribute bottled water or install filtration systems.

James Crowley, staff attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation in Rhode Island, said the test results in Massachusetts underscore the urgency for Rhode Island to begin regulating toxic chemicals, which can come from firefighting foam, Teflon, and food packaging, among other sources.

‘Several of our neighboring states have these regulations,’ Crowley said Thursday. ‘We think it’s past time for Rhode Island to put regulations in place as well.’

‘The full extent of the problem is becoming more obvious every day,’ said Representative June S. Speakman, a Warren Democrat. ‘So it’s time for Rhode Island to do something.’

A spokesman for the state Department of Health, Joseph Wendelken, said the department began developing PFAS regulations before the COVID-19 pandemic began. ‘We are working with the governor’s office on drafting PFAS regulations, and hope to have them available for public comment soon,’ he said.

But Speakman said Massachusetts managed to enact PFAS regulations while responding to the pandemic, and she has introduced a bill that would set maximum PFAS contamination levels in drinking water and surface water, while also setting standards for PFAS monitoring at landfills…”