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25th February 2024
EDITORS NOTE: This first article is a very long read, thus I am only posting one page of it with the link to the site for you to complete your read.
This is so important for all of us to understand. We are trying to ascertain if, when the Schnitzer fire occurred, was foam used. If it was, then testing of the aquifers water needs to be done.
There is so much going on in our environment that is so dangerous, we need to find a way to stop it all!
The second article is about PFAS in biosolids..,the biosolids that are spread in our watersheds!
Please try and take the time to read both articles. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please email me at or post them under the article.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

More ‘forever chemicals’ found in WA drinking water as cleanup costs mount

Dec. 11, 2022 at 6:00 am Updated Dec. 11, 2022 at 11:24 am

LAKEWOOD, Pierce County — The water pumped from the ground here was once considered pure enough to mix with a little chlorine and then pipe directly to homes.PFAS

Today, every gallon from two water district wells must first be flushed through six enormous tanks, each filled with 40,000 pounds of specially treated coal, to remove contaminants.

This pollution, known as “forever chemicals” or PFAS, can increase health risks for certain cancers and other diseases when present in drinking water in minuscule concentrations measured in parts per trillion. Lakewood is one of more than a dozen Washington public water systems with detections above levels defined by the state to be suitable for long-term consumption — and widespread testing is just ramping up.

Massive filtration systems can remove the contamination, but at a steep cost. Lakewood, where PFAS entered the ground from firefighting foams used at nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord, spent $5.5 million on its system. Through the decades, operating costs and maintenance are forecast to soak up millions of more dollars.

Now, a massive legal battle is playing out across the country as more than 200 providers of public drinking water, including Lakewood, sue manufacturers, distributors and in some cases the Defense Department in federal court to determine who will pay the cleanup bills that will tally in the billions of dollars.

“The frustration is … the cost. We didn’t create this problem. But we have to deal with this,” said Marshall Meyer, engineering manager for Lakewood Water District.

Firefighting foams have emerged as a major source of PFAS contamination. They were first developed by Minnesota-based 3M in collaboration with the Navy. The lawsuits, including five filed by Washington public water systems, allege 3M failed to disclose internal studies dating back to the ’60s documenting the persistence of these chemicals in the environment, their toxicity and their widespread presence in human blood. In 1998, 3M finally shared over 1,200 studies with the Environmental Protection Agency, drawing a $1.5 million fine for failing to report them earlier.

In court and public comments, 3M had denied allegations that corporate officials sought to suppress information about the environmental and health risks of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

“3M acted responsibly in connection with products containing PFAS — including AFFF (aqueous film-forming foams) — and will vigorously defend its record of environmental stewardship,” the company said in a written statement.

In Washington, public water systems with PFAS exceeding the state action levels range from Western Washington communities of Highline and Issaquah to the city of Airway Heights at the eastern edge of the state.

The public water systems now grappling with this pollution collectively serve nearly 570,000 people, 7.4% of the state’s population, according to a Seattle Times analysis of test results. The analysis also shows:

In Washington, a large cluster of contamination has been found in communities near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where firefighters in the ’70s began training with PFAS foams. Ongoing testing of wells used by Lakewood, Dupont and Roy has detected PFAS in amounts that exceed state action levels.
Airway Heights, near Fairchild Air Force Base, suffered some of the nation’s worst public drinking water contamination. City officials say an alternative supply now available from Spokane is not enough to meet future needs. A federal public health survey found residents had blood levels for one firefighting-foam chemical 56 times higher than the national average.
Some sources of drinking water contamination remain a mystery. Vancouver water utility officials said there is “no smoking gun” for the sources of the contamination in six of nine stations that pump from aquifers to supply the residents of the state’s fourth largest city.
Washington public water systems have responded in different ways to the detection of PFAS. Some, such as Airway Heights, Lakewood and Issaquah, quickly moved to take these wells offline, and develop treatment systems for those that remained in service. Vancouver lacks alternative supplies, and has yet to build treatment systems for wells that test modestly above state action levels. So they remain in use.
The state action levels went into effect in January. They apply to five PFAS compounds, including two — PFOA and PFOS — found early on in firefighting foams. PFAS concentrations at or below those levels are considered safe for someone drinking this water source through the course of their lifetime. Water systems that test over those levels need to inform their customers and investigate the cause.

The state action levels result from a lengthy state Department of Health review of studies that indicate long-term exposure to minute amounts of PFAS can increase risks of kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease and harm the immune system. For PFOA, the 10 parts per trillion action level is the equivalent of a half drop placed in an Olympic-sized pool.

So far, more than 600 of the state’s public water systems have voluntarily tested for PFAS, and some 1,900 other public water systems will be required to test for PFAS during the next three years.

The EPA is gearing up for a big federal regulatory move. The agency is expected to soon propose a rule that will establish maximum acceptable levels for some PFAS — and require water systems to keep within those limits in all water delivered to customers.

“Drinking water is one of those things in this state that we expect to be clean and unlimited. But it’s not, at least not anymore,” said Mike Means, a DOH official.

Where PFAS exceeded state action levels in Washington public water systems

The state action levels were set to protect people who drink the same water source over the course of their lifetimes. Utilities with wells that exceed these limits must inform their customers and investigate causes. PFAS have been detected over state action levels at some wells in water systems that together serve close to 570,000 people, or 7.4% of the state population.

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