In Cambodia, a battered Mekong defies doomsday predictions

Read the full story at e360.

After years of environmental assault — from dam building, overfishing, and logging — stretches of the Mekong River, upon which millions of people depend, appear to be recovering. Heavy rains have helped, along with a crackdown on illegal fishing and other conservation efforts.

Webinar: Environmentally Sustainable Methods to Remove AFFF from Firefighting Delivery Systems

Mar 23, 2023, 11 am CT
Register here.

This SERDP and ESTCP webinar focuses on DoD-funded research efforts to develop approaches for remediating AFFF-impacted fire suppression systems. Specifically, investigators will cover a rinsing procedure to remove PFAS from AFFF delivery equipment, evaluation of a closed-circuit high-pressure nanofiltration/reverse osmosis system for the concentration and treatment of AFFF residuals, and laboratory and field demonstrations for removing PFAS entrained on surfaces.

Deep well disposal for PFAS attracts heightened interest as new regulations loom

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

As federal and state regulators look to strengthen regulations for PFAS, deep well injection is attracting increased interest as a disposal method.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — a class of human-made, water-repelling compounds found in products as diverse as food wrappers, raincoats and firefighting foam — can persist in the human body for many years. They have been linked to multiple health problems, including cancer, liver and kidney damage, and reproductive issues.

Over the past two years, U.S. EPA has issued multiple proposals aimed at accelerating cleanup of PFAS contamination and limiting their use, including a move to designate certain PFAS as hazardous waste. The efforts are part of an overall goal to “proactively prevent PFAS from entering air, land, and water at levels that can adversely impact human health and the environment,” according to the agency. Several states are also working to speed PFAS cleanups.

Cleaning up ‘forever chemicals’ is costly and messy — just ask this Wisconsin town

Read the full story at Grist.

Residents in Peshtigo are exposed to dangerously high levels of a group of toxins known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in their groundwater, the source of their drinking water. PFAS are called “forever chemicals” because they are hard to break down in the environment. They’re also linked to high blood pressure in middle-aged women and stunted developmental growth in children, as well as kidney and testicular cancers.

Peshtigo’s PFAS problems stem from a local manufacturing facility that produces firefighting foam — a source of the chemicals so toxic that the Department of Defense recently banned their use. Over decades, a plume of PFAS spread through the community’s vast groundwater networks. Now, residents in this rural part of Wisconsin are forced to use bottled water to cook, clean, and drink until officials find ways to lower the chemicals’ concentrations.

EPA announces start of new cleanup projects at 22 Superfund sites, along with 100 other ongoing cleanups

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the second wave of approximately $1 billion in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to start new cleanup projects at 22 Superfund sites and expedite over 100 other ongoing cleanups across the country.

Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed, including in manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills, and mining sites. Superfund cleanups help transform contaminated properties and create jobs in overburdened communities, while repurposing these sites for a wide range of uses, including public parks, retail businesses, office space, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. In addition, these sites can support natural areas, parks, and recreation facilities, providing greenspace and safe places for families to play outside.

“Thanks to President Biden’s historic investments in America, we are moving faster than ever before to progress clean up at contaminated sites – from manufacturing facilities to landfills – in communities across the country,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan “But our work is not yet finished – we’re continuing to build on this momentum to ensure that communities living near many of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination finally get the investments and protections they deserve.”

The $1 billion investment announced today is the second wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. With the first wave of funding announced in December 2021, EPA deployed more than $1 billion for cleanup activities at more than 100 Superfund National Priorities List sites across the country. Thanks to this historic funding, EPA started 81 new cleanup projects in 2022, including projects at 44 sites previously on the backlog. By starting four times as many construction projects as the year before, EPA is aggressively bringing more sites across the country closer to finishing cleanup. For example, in Evansville, Indiana, EPA continued to reduce exposures to lead and arsenic in soil in the neighborhoods of the Jacobsville Neighborhood Contamination site by starting the next phase of cleaning up contaminated residential soils.

In addition to funding cleanup construction work, this investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and ensure that communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2022, EPA more than doubled its spending for Superfund pre-construction activities like remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement.

EPA is committed to carrying out this work in line with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative by advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. This will help ensure that historic and ongoing impacts of contamination on overburdened communities are fully considered and addressed. Out of the 22 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, 60% are in communities with the potential for environmental justice concerns based on data from EJSCREEN, an environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides EPA with a nationally consistent dataset and approach for combining environmental and demographic socioeconomic indicators.

The funding announced today includes new cleanup projects at the following 22 Superfund sites:

StateSite NameStateSite Name

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

For more information on each site, please visit

To see highlights from the first year of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites, please visit

For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, please visit

Destroying ‘forever chemicals’ is a technological race that could become a multibillion-dollar industry

Read the full story at Inside Climate.

Researchers and companies across the country are eager to find a way to destroy harmful PFAS chemicals as regulation tightens and producers face a mountain of lawsuits.

Magnetic material mops up microplastics in water

Read the full story from RMIT University.

Researchers at RMIT University have found an innovative way to rapidly remove hazardous microplastics from water using magnets.

Researchers cook up a new way to remove microplastics from water

Read the full story from Princeton University.

Researchers at Princeton Engineering have found a way to turn your breakfast food into a new material that can cheaply remove salt and microplastics from seawater.

The researchers used egg whites to create an aerogel, a lightweight and porous material that can be used in many types of applications, including water filtration, energy storage, and sound and thermal insulation. Craig Arnold, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and vice dean of innovation at Princeton, works with his lab to create new materials, including aerogels, for engineering applications.

Amid the sprawl, a Long Island prairie makes a quiet comeback

Read the full story at e360.

Tucked into quintessential suburbia, the Hempstead Plains Preserve is a small sliver of the grassland that once covered a vast area of Long Island. New research shows that thoughtfully planted yards and gardens can bolster the biodiversity in such urban wildland fragments.

What is sonolysis and can it remove PFAS from groundwater?

Read the full story in Civil Engineering Source.

Researchers Poonam R. Kulkarni, Stephen D. Richardson, Blossom N. Nzeribe, David T. Adamson, Shashank S. Kalra, Shaily Mahendra, Jens Blotevogel, Andrea Hanson, Greg Dooley, Sharyl Maraviov, and Jovan Popovic developed a test to evaluate sonolysis as a destructive technology under field operating conditions to determine performance and scalability.

In their study, “Field Demonstration of a Sonolysis Reactor for Treatment of PFAS-Contaminated Groundwater” in the Journal of Environmental Engineering, the authors demonstrate the operation of a pilot-scale sonolysis reactor at a field site for the treatment of PFAS-contaminated groundwater.

Learn how this first field application of sonolysis for groundwater treatment can be applied to minimize environmental threats at