Tag Archives: PFAS

WI State Journal : County More Reporting on PFAS

original link

Emily Hamer

 

“The Dane County Board on Thursday approved a proposal that will require additional public reporting on PFAS contamination and seek more information on much power the county has to regulate or halt airport projects if soil is too contaminated.

In another proposal aimed at supporting efforts to address PFAS contamination, the board backed a state bill that, if passed, would fund new state staff to come up with a PFAS action plan, create grants for local governments to conduct testing and remediation and other statewide initiatives to mitigate contamination due to the chemicals.

PFAS compounds are toxic, manmade chemicals that don’t break down in the environment and have been shown to increase the risk of cancer and other ailments. The “forever chemicals” have been found at the Dane County Regional Airport, where firefighters have used fluorinated foams for decades. Environmental advocates worry construction could further disburse PFAS.

Sup. Yogesh Chawla, 6th District, the author of the proposal on public reporting, said the county needs to make it “as easy as possible” for members of the community to find out about contamination levels and any remediation efforts. With the resolution’s approval, Public Health Madison and Dane County, along with county staff, will be directed to make a website for posting information on PFAS tests and minutes from any public meetings where PFAS is discussed.

The resolution also asks county staff to provide a legal opinion on “any and all ways” the county can regulate airport activities and the work to clean up PFAS. Chawla said it’s not clear exactly what the county can do to protect from PFAS contamination, and the legal opinion should shed some light on that.

“We … need to know what power the County Board has to keep our drinking water safe for our community,” Chawla said.

The resolution is the latest iteration of a series of proposals from Chawla looking to address PFAS contamination. The previous proposals failed, likely because they included language opposing the placement of F-35 fighter jets in Madison, which has faced opposition because of noise and environmental concerns. Thursday’s resolution doesn’t mention the jets at all.

Sup. Jeff Weigand, 20th District, was the only board member to vote against the PFAS resolutions. Weigand said he supported the public reporting but was against efforts to regulate airport activity. He said the proposal supporting the state bill “does nothing,” and he’s against passing a measure just “so we can all feel good.”

Car camping

Also Thursday, the board passed a resolution that directs staff in the county’s Department of Human Services to prepare a report on potential sites for lawful car camping for homeless individuals. Weigand was the only board member to vote against it, but he did not say why.

More than nine years ago, local nonprofit Madison-area Urban Ministry, now known as Just Dane, recommended that the county identify parking spots on properties owned by the county, businesses and faith communities that could be used for car camping. Just Dane also recommended creating a registration process and a community outreach program to explain the car camping to neighbors.

The new report will include ways the county could implement those recommendations and take “a fresh look” at car camping, Human Services Director Shawn Tessmann said. Staff are required to present interim recommendations no later than March 1 and a full report on the site options by June 1.

Sup. Heidi Wegleitner, 2nd District, the author of the resolution, has said implementing lawful car camping in the county is “overdue.”

The Poison is here, the poison is there. Forever Chemicals

We know the poison is here.  The decision makers play a shell game and shelter the government and corporate manufacturers.

I wish the elected and appointed would speak truth, damn it.  Instead, the corporate mainstream news sources and the politicians with any real power act as a filter most of the time to serve corporate government owners.

I’m no expert, but I believe that if Truax is a polluted SuperFund site that they should not be allowed to stir up the pollution with their construction projects.  It seems as though government, especially federal, is above the laws and justice is ignored.  They are building a new terminal now and getting ready for more weapons of war [-crimes.]

That is not how republic and representative government works.  In the end, I guess, we get what we allow.  

 
We also allow the rights of human beings around the world to be violated to serve the profits of the connected and powerful. 
 
1)  “Michael Regan, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said his agency is taking a series of actions to limit pollution from a cluster of long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS that are increasingly turning up in public drinking water systems, private wells and even food. 
 
The Defense Department said it is moving to assess and clean up PFAS-contaminated sites throughout the country, while the Food and Drug Administration will expand testing of the food supply to estimate Americans’ exposure to PFAS from food. The plan is intended to restrict PFAS from being released into the environment, accelerate cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites such as military bases and increase investments in research to learn more about where PFAS are found and how their spread can be prevented.”

Associated Press

 


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
https://www.safeskiescleanwaterwi.org/pfas/

3M’s support for PFAS could cost taxpayers billions of dollars

The failure of manufacturers to report and deal with potential PFAS problems when they learned of them is saddling the companies with mounting legal costs.

Members of a 3M committee at headquarters in Maplewood had two big questions to answer in spring of 1978.

Did studies showing PFAS chemicals were more toxic to animals than 3M thought pose risks to public health and the environment? Or did research that PFAS were collecting in the bodies of 3M workers pose risks to public health and the environment?

If the answer to either or both questions was yes, the 3M Fluorochemicals Technical Review Committee knew it was required to tell the federal government about those risks within 15 days. Instead, confidential meeting minutes show, committee members decided the evidence wasn’t strong enough to warn the government or the public.

Yet the confidential minutes of a second meeting a month later also show the committee “urgently recommended that all reasonable steps be taken immediately to reduce exposure of employees to these compounds.”

These 40-year-old choices, found among tens of thousands of pages of secret documents unsealed by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and a Washington County judge, represented a critical juncture, say public health and environmental advocates.

The failure of 3M and other manufacturers, such as DuPont, to publicly report and deal with potential PFAS problems when they first learned of them is saddling the companies with mounting legal costs because of lawsuits brought by several states and individuals. And it’s about to cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.

3M told the Star Tribune that it has paid “more than $1.2 billion” to treat PFAS pollution. That is a fraction of the $10 billion in taxpayer funds the country’s new bipartisan infrastructure bill allocates for PFAS cleanup. Other proposed PFAS pollution bills in Congress allocate billions more to clean up a mess 3M and other corporations made.

The Department of Defense spent $1.1 billion on PFAS cleanup in 2020 and estimates it will spend $2.1 billion more in 2021, according to the Government Accountability Office. Officials say it will take decades to address the pollution.

University of Michigan Prof. Allen Burton, editor of the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, said knowledge that PFAS was accumulating in humans “should have been enough to stop production.”

It wasn’t. 3M and others chose not to tell the public what they knew. They continued using PFAS that, over time, spread to the bodies of most Americans and hundreds of millions around the world. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS, do not break down naturally. Instead, they migrate throughout the environment, circulating through surface and groundwaters, soils and air. This results in potentially substantial exposures and increases in fish, wildlife and humans.

And as part of a $671 million lawsuit settlement in 2017, Dupont convened a panel to study a 3M-made PFAS called PFOA. DuPont and Chemours Co., which produced Teflon in Parkersburg, W.Va., using the 3M product, denied any wrongdoing. However, Dupont’s panel concluded that PFOA was likely linked to kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, and hypertension during pregnancy for people living around the Teflon plant.

The FDA says the data are “inadequate to evaluate cancer effects associated with PFBS exposure,” referring to one of the chemicals in the PFOA class. But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has classified PFOA as possibly carcinogenic.

‘Defend our record’

To this day, 3M stands by its handling of PFAS. The company still argues that PFAS are safe to humans in the levels that exist in the environment. The company says it still makes and uses some of the fluorochemicals “to help make innovations like lifesaving medical devices and low-emission vehicles possible.”

“3M acted responsibly in connection with products containing PFAS … and will vigorously defend our record of environmental stewardship,” the company said in June.

PFAS are used in hundreds of everyday products from waterproof clothing and Teflon cookware to food packaging and firefighting foam. It took until the early 2000s for the public to begin to learn that these chemicals also had major problems. By then, PFAS had polluted municipal water systems, groundwater, landfills and military bases at thousands of sites across America. For instance, a new report shows PFAS groundwater pollution at an Air National Guard base near Duluth.

“Cleaning up PFAS contamination is a Biden-Harris administration priority,” an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokeswoman told the Star Tribune in an e-mail. “The administration is currently discussing options for moving forward with the designation of PFOA and PFOS as a hazardous substance.”

After the EPA under former President Donald Trump strongly opposed a major PFAS regulation bill, new EPA chief Michael Regan has created a new Council on PFAS and is “evaluating the best available science to establish” enforceable maximum contaminant levels for PFOA and PFOS, the most toxic kinds of PFAS, in drinking water, the spokeswoman said.

States are also exploring legislation and regulations. This spring, the Minnesota Legislature banned PFAS from food packaging by 2024.

“There is a substantial amount of peer-reviewed literature documenting adverse effects, which is why there is [now] so much regulatory activity,” Burton said. “I think 3M is on the hook for a lot in this international catastrophe.”

In June, Joanne Stanton told a U.S. Senate committee that she is one of three women on the same street in Warminster, Pa., with a child who developed cancerous brain tumors containing embryonic tissue. Stanton told the Star Tribune that all the mothers and children grew up drinking water heavily polluted with PFAS used in firefighting foam at two nearby military bases.

Research shows that PFAS can cross the placenta from mother to fetus, said Jamie DeWitt, a PFAS researcher at East Carolina University. Breast-feeding babies can also ingest PFAS from their mothers, Harvard epidemiologist Philippe Grandjean said.

Milwaukee Area Water Poisoned by Military PFAS Forever Chemicals

original article Laura Schulte

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Sep 2021

‘Forever chemicals’ from a military installation at Mitchell Airport are a risk to nearby drinking wells, Lake Michigan, a report says

also PFAS Timeline and History – EWG

“Despite testing that found “forever chemicals” at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport two years ago, the Department of Defense has yet to move forward with a plan to address the contamination, putting nearby residents with private drinking wells at risk.

The Department of Defense was notified by the state Department of Natural Resources that it was the responsible party for contamination from PFAS — per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — in ground and surface water near the airport in 2019, but no action has yet been taken, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

The environmental advocacy group looked at publicly available data related to PFAS testing at DOD sites across the Great Lakes region and found that several sites, including Mitchell Airport, could be contaminating not only groundwater but the lakes that give the area its name.

 

Some of the highest levels of the chemicals were found in private drinking wells along the borders of the Milwaukee airport, said Jared Hayes, a policy analyst with the Environmental Working Group. And because no aggressive action has been taken since the discovery of the compounds, some residents in the area may not even know they’re at risk.

 

The department ordered that the airport needed to determine the source of the contamination, prevent future discharges and develop a cleanup plan. At the time, levels were not high enough to be considered a public health concern, but the department wanted the water utility to monitor levels.

Included in the testing results in 2019 were about six compounds, including PFOA and PFOS, two of the most researched PFAS chemicals.

Though recommendations at the time called for wastewater utilities to start measuring for PFAS, no such rules have yet been instituted, because the utilities are not the source of chemicals but merely a receiver as the chemicals are washed down drains across the state.

Milwaukee isn’t the only city to face a PFAS contamination stemming from its airport. In Madison, contamination stemming from the Dane County Regional Airport — where the 115th Fighter Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard is stationed — has been linked to high levels of PFAS in a nearby lake and some nearby wells.

On French Island, which is home to the La Crosse Regional Airport on one side and the Town of Campbell on the other, over a thousand people are receiving bottled water after PFAS were found in private drinking water across the island. Research into the airport’s past has shown that ongoing testing of PFAS-containing firefighting foam and foam used to put out blazes caused by plane crashes are likely responsible for most of the contamination.

PFAS are a family of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The family includes 5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the environment and the human body over time.