Read the full article by Pat Rizzuto and Bobby Magill (Bloomberg Law)
“Drought is exposing new layers of risk posed by PFAS contamination in drinking water nationwide, a public health hazard expected to cost billions of dollars and take years to solve, state and federal officials say.
As the historic drought hitting much of the country decreases the flow of rivers and streams, more municipalities are drawing water from underground aquifers and wells. And emerging data shows PFAS contamination could be prevalent in some of those groundwater sources.
‘This is not an insurmountable problem,’ Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) told Bloomberg Law. ‘But when we use a groundwater supply, we’ve got to make sure it’s safe.’
As of December 2021, the PFAS Project Lab at Northeastern University had documented per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in soil or water at 1,781 sites, with groundwater at 1,385 of those sites contaminated with the man-made chemicals.
But little comprehensive data exists on how many of the country’s public water systems—and the EPA says there are more than 148,000 of them—are even tracking PFAS contamination.
That will soon change for the biggest utilities. The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule requiring drinking water systems serving more than 3,300 people to monitor unregulated contaminants, including some PFAS chemicals, starting next year.”…