EPA Proposal to Limit PFAS in Drinking Water May Boost Grassroots Efforts

Rome, Georgia — The intake pumps that once drew 6 million gallons of water a day from the Oostanaula River now sit mostly dormant in this northwestern Georgia city. Local officials contend that years of contamination miles upstream sent toxic perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, into Rome’s water supply, rendering it potentially dangerous for the city’s roughly 37,000 residents. A water source switch from the Oostanaula and added treatment have reduced the traces of the chemicals running through residents’ taps, but they have not eliminated PFAS from the community’s water supply. Test results that found contamination in Rome…

Waste Incinerators May Be Spreading “Forever Chemicals” Through the Air

As states work to limit the use of PFAS, one path for their spread is often overlooked: incineration of consumer waste, such as clothing, textiles, food packaging, paints, and electronics. Regulatory agencies are paying some attention to the PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) waste stream, such as contaminated leachate from landfills. However, about 12% of the U.S. waste stream goes to the country’s 75 aging municipal solid waste incinerators, with minimal research on likely byproducts of burning PFAS-tainted trash. Now “PFAS in air emissions and incineration are becoming more of a focus,” Lydia Jahl, a science and policy associate for the…

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