As organics depackager equipment market grows, so do concerns over microplastics contamination

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Companies like Vanguard Renewables are investing millions to facilitate commercial organics recycling as researchers and regulators work to keep PFAS and microplastics out of the equation.

Researchers receive funding to build a system that selectively removes and destroys PFAS

Read the full story at Azo Cleantech.

The National Alliance for Water Innovation of the US Department of Energy has given engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago just over $1 million to develop a system that selectively eliminates and destroys poly- and perfluorinated substances, also known as PFAS and referred to as “forever chemicals,” from industrial and municipal wastewaters.

How can we clean up PFAS, the ‘forever chemicals’?

Read the full story at Fast Company.

They last forever, so they’re going to require some out-there ideas to get rid of—like electrocuting microbes or chemical-attracting bubbles.

EPA’s Spring 2022 Regulatory Agenda updates actions for PFAS Strategic Roadmap

Read the full story at JD Supra.

On October 18, 2021, EPA announced EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap (“Roadmap”) which outlines EPA’s comprehensive agency wide approach for addressing PFAS. The Roadmap contains timelines for EPA to take actions to address PFAS. A critical component of the Roadmap is the development of new regulations within existing EPA programs to protect public health and the environment from the impacts of PFAS.

On June 21, 2022, EPA’s Spring Regulatory Agenda was released which contains several important PFAS rules for the implementation of the Roadmap. The regulations are from the Office Water, Office of Land and Emergency Management and Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. While the Office of Air and Radiation is included in the Roadmap, there are no pending proposed or final stage regulations.

Chemours challenges the EPA GenX drinking water health advisory with a surprising argument: the Nondelegation Doctrine

Read the full story at JD Supra.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new drinking water health advisories for PFAS, released on June 15, 2022, included an advisory level of 10 parts per trillion (ppt) for hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt, collectively known as GenX. On July 14, 2022, Chemours, which manufactures GenX, petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for review of the GenX health advisory. In its filing, Chemours argued that the health advisory was “arbitrary and capricious” by challenging EPA’s scientific assumptions, but Chemours also made a more radical argument: “The manner in which EPA has used its Safe Drinking Water Act authority to issue health advisories violates constitutional requirements, including the nondelegation doctrine, because EPA has utilized unfettered discretion to publish health advisories,” and had thus affected “the legal rights and obligations of companies, water utilities, and others across the country without sufficient legislative direction or regulatory safeguards.”[1]

Chemours’ suit was probably in part a response to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s letter to Chemours requiring it to “revise its Drinking Water Compliance Plan and Feasibility Study Report and provide public water or whole building filtration systems to any party with a private drinking water well contaminated by GenX chemicals in exceedance of 10 ppt.” This demand was in accordance with a consent order agreed to between the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Cape Fear River Watch, and Chemours in 2019, requiring that Chemours provide water to substitute for any “private drinking water well that has been found through testing validated by DEQ to be contaminated by concentrations of GenX compounds in exceedance of 140 ng/L, or any applicable health advisory, whichever is lower.”[2]

Guidance on PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-Up

Download the document.

In thousands of communities across the United States, drinking water is contaminated with chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are used in a wide range of products, such as non-stick cookware, water and stain repellent fabrics, and fire-fighting foam, because they have properties that repel oil and water, reduce friction, and resist temperature changes. PFAS can leak into the environment where they are made, used, disposed of, or spilled. PFAS exposure has been linked to a number of adverse health effects including certain cancers, thyroid dysfunction, changes in cholesterol, and small reductions in birth weight.

This report recommends that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update its clinical guidance to advise clinicians to offer PFAS blood testing to patients who are likely to have a history of elevated exposure, such as those with occupational exposures or those who live in areas known to be contaminated. If testing reveals PFAS levels associated with an increased risk of adverse effects, patients should receive regular screenings and monitoring for these and other health impacts. Guidance on PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-Up recommends that the CDC, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and public health departments support clinicians by creating educational materials on PFAS exposure, potential health effects, the limitations of testing, and the benefits and harms of testing.

Webinar: EPA PFAS Strategic Roadmap: Research Tools and Resources

Aug 17, 2022, 2 pm CDT
Register here.

This webinar will provide a brief overview of EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and ongoing efforts by EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) to address key PFAS research needs for environmental decision-making. ORD scientists will highlight two recently released data sources: EPA’s PFAS Thermal Treatment Database, which contains information on the treatability of PFAS via various thermal processes, and Systematic Evidence Maps for PFAS, which summarize available toxicity evidence for approximately 150 different PFAS. Recent updates to other PFAS resources will also be shared.   

PFAS are toxic and they’re everywhere. Here’s how to stay away from them.

Read the full story in Popular Science.

It might be impossible to eliminate them completely, but you can certainly reduce your exposure.

Wisconsin PFAS lawsuit latest to target manufacturers

Read the full story at the National Law Review.

On July 20, 2022, the state of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against 18 manufacturing companies in which the state seeks to recover “billions of dollars” that it says that it has and will spend on remediating PFAS issues in the state. While the Wisconsin PFAS lawsuit targets PFAS manufacturers and AFFF manufacturers that utilized PFAS in their products, which several states have done, the lawsuit is nevertheless notable due to the scope of damages alleged in the case. Downstream commerce companies that used PFAS in non-AFFF applications in the state of Wisconsin must pay attention to this case, as it is certainly conceivable that in the future, they, too, may find themselves the targets in similar lawsuits.

‘Forever chemicals’ lawsuits: Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul sues 18 companies over PFAS contamination

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The chemicals also have been found in more than 100 drinking water systems in Illinois, including those in Lake Forest, Waukegan, North Chicago, South Elgin and Crest Hill.