A roundtable on the progress the nation is making to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) took place August 25 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
It was hosted by North Carolina Representative Richard Hudson. Also attending was U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and several state officials from North Carolina.
Wheeler highlighted actions his agency is taking under the PFAS Action Plan and touched on the partnerships that have been formed since the PFAS Action Plan was announced.
“In August 2018, EPA hosted a public listening session right here in Fayetteville to hear from the community about what the agency could do to help address PFAS,” Wheeler said. “In the two years since, we issued the first-ever PFAS Action Plan and have brought major support to state, tribal, and local governments as they help us execute the plan. The partnership EPA has with North Carolina and other states is critical to overcoming PFAS-related challenges.”
Wheeler also announced the new Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge, which is a partnership between federal and states agencies seeking detailed plans for a nonincineration method to destroy PFAS in concentrated aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), a type of firefighting foam.
“Protecting our community and combatting PFAS chemicals like GenX have remained a top priority. I first invited the EPA to Fayetteville in 2018 so they could hear directly from our community on this issue,” Hudson said. “Today’s discussion continues that dialogue and builds on our progress, including two amendments I recently secured that will directly help our fight against PFAS.”
NGWA has long been an industry leader in providing PFAS research, education, and resources to the public and scientific communities. In 2018, NGWA published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice, which was one of the first PFAS guidance documents to be released.
It can be found at NGWA.org/PFAS, which is a complete resource center about the groundwater contaminant featuring an FAQs document, a top-10 facts sheet, a homeowner checklist, and more.
NGWA’s newest document on PFAS, PFAS and Private Well Owners: What You Need to Know, is a fact sheet written in an accessible and easy-to-understand way by members of NGWA’s PFAS Task Force. It focuses on everything private well owners should know about the impacts of PFAS on their wells and can be found on the NGWA website as well.
Earlier this summer, NGWA and eight other water associations commented on the EPA drinking water regulatory determination for PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), as well as other PFAS compounds, while also urging timely and comprehensive action.
“NGWA has long been advocating for the EPA to take further action to fight PFAS contamination,” NGWA CEO Terry S. Morse, CAE, CIC, said. “While there is definitely more work to do, we applaud these efforts put forward by the EPA as they indicate a willingness to listen to the experts and start allocating more resources to eradicating PFAS across the country.”