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“Dozens of New Jersey water systems that serve a combined 500,000 residents exceeded new stringent standards last year for PFAS, a family of chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other ailments, environmental officials said Tuesday. 

Higher levels were found in 34 community water systems, including several in Bergen County that now face millions of dollars in expenses to buy filtering equipment. The largest water provider that exceeded the standard was the Middlesex Water Company, which serves 233,000 people.

State officials are still formulating a statewide cleanup plan, but a lot of that hinges on lawsuits filed by the Murphy administration against DuPont, 3M and other companies that used PFAS chemicals for decades in manufacturing everyday products such as nonstick pans, polishes, waxes, paints and cleaning products.

‘The folks that put this material into the chain of commerce are responsible,’ Shawn LaTourette, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, said in a conference call with reporters. 

The new data, which can be found at the DEP’s Water Watch database, comes after New Jersey in 2020 formally adopted some of the most stringent drinking water standards in the nation for two PFAS chemicals: PFOA and PFOS.”…