Read the full article by David J. Mitchell (Nola)

“Persistent chemicals increasingly drawing regulatory scrutiny because of their potential harm to the environment and the public have been detected in the Mississippi River in Ascension, Pointe Coupee and St. James parishes, a New Orleans nonprofit has found.

Highlighted in the 2019 movie ‘Dark Waters,’ the manmade chemicals found this summer in the Mississippi River industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans are part of a class of thousands of chemicals known as per- and polyfluorinated substances, or collectively as ‘PFAS.’…

…Some of the five Mississippi River testing sites where the chemicals were found were upriver and only a few miles from drinking water intakes for the city of Donaldsonville, the east bank of St. James Parish and the city of Lutcher, according to the results from the nonprofit, The Water Collaborative.

One of the chemicals, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, was found in two locations in Ascension Parish in trace concentrations roughly on par with what has been found in some water systems and in the Mississippi in the upper Midwest, according to state regulatory reports and the nonprofit’s results.

But the concentrations in the raw river water, around 5 parts per trillion, were also at levels 240 times to nearly 270 times a new, more-rigorous, interim federal drinking water guideline that takes into account an increasing understanding of the chemical’s toxicity.

Rebecca Malpass, policy director for the The Water Collaborative, said the findings show the need for more testing of the river and water systems and more regulations for the chemicals.

‘It’s a very big deal,’ Malpass said during a news conference Friday in Lutcher. ‘It’s kind of one of those breathtaking moments.'”…