Read the full article by Timothy Wheeler (Bay Journal)

“Pennsylvania and Delaware have joined a growing list of states moving to set enforceable limits in drinking water for two ‘forever chemicals,’ which have been linked to health concerns, including cancer.

The two states have taken steps to establish state-specific maximum contaminant levels for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). Those compounds are among the most thoroughly studied of a group of highly persistent chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Studies have shown that exposures to certain PFAS can cause a variety of health problems, including decreased fertility, developmental delays in children and reduced immunity to infection.

PFOA and PFOS have been used in a wide array of consumer and industrial products, including nonstick cookware and waterproof and stain-resistant fabrics. Their use in firefighting foam sprayed for decades on military bases and at airports has led to extensive contamination of ground- and surface waters.

Pennsylvania’s action comes three years after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order calling for a comprehensive approach to addressing PFAS contamination in the state, including moving to limit it in drinking water. At that time, the chemicals had been identified at 11 sites, a number that has since grown.

Delaware’s legislature last year enacted a law requiring the state to set its own maximum contaminant levels on the same two compounds. PFOA and PFOS have contaminated public drinking water supplies in New Castle County and in the town of Blades, which is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The latter site has been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List for federally funded cleanups.”…