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More ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in New Jersey Water Systems

Far more “forever chemicals” are present in New Jersey drinking water systems than are currently regulated by the state and some utilities would not meet new health standards the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed for them, according to new federal data.

In mid-August, the EPA released the first tranche of results from a new round of national testing for the toxic chemicals in water systems. In New Jersey, it found 28 utilities detected some of the 29 chemicals that EPA was testing for, some at levels that would not comply with rigorous new federal health limits if they are finalized.

Although the utilities mostly met the state’s health-based requirements for two of the PFAS chemicals — PFOA and PFOS — they would have exceeded much stricter levels proposed by the EPA for those chemicals, which are among the most common and well-studied of the PFAS class.

At Park Ridge Water Department, for example, EPA testing this spring found PFOA at 9.8 parts per trillion (ppt) in one system. Although that complies with New Jersey’s limit of 14 ppt, it would not meet the proposed federal requirement of 4 ppt if that is adopted, as expected, later this year or early in 2024.

At New Jersey American Water, the state’s biggest investor-owned water company, the EPA found PFOS at 6.3 ppt in the company’s Washington-Oxford system, well within the state standard of 13 ppt but outside the 4 ppt level that the EPA plans to require.

And in one system operated by Ridgewood Water, a municipally owned utility, PFOA was found at 29.8 ppt, a level that exceeded both the state standard and the one proposed by the EPA.

Rich Calbi, director of operations at Ridgewood Water, declined to comment on the new data, but noted that the utility is trying to recoup the costs of complying with state PFAS regulations by suing PFAS manufacturers including 3M.

Continue reading at NJ SPOTLIGHT NEWS

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FM Editors
FM Editors
Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.

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