PFAS News Roundup: Huron River contamination levels drop, New York PFAS cleanup could be delayed

PFAS News Roundup: Huron River contamination levels drop, New York PFAS cleanup could be delayed
October 23, 2020 Natasha Blakely

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

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About 20 homes and one business in East Bay Township may have for years been using drinking water contaminated with PFAS chemicals, and state environmental regulators now launched efforts to find out for sure.

Officials said the new investigation comes after a series of state-installed groundwater monitoring wells returned elevated results for various PFAS chemicals. The worry is some residents of the nearby Pine Grove neighborhood may have been drinking and cooking with PFAS-laden water for decades.

The authority created to clean up and market abandoned General Motors’ properties nationwide says testing is being expanded in an area of the old Buick City site along Hamilton Avenue where testing this year has shown very high levels of polyfluoroalkyl substances in soil and groundwater.

Contaminating substances in the Huron River have significantly declined after two years of treatment, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said Thursday.

EGLE said the decline of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which the FDA describes as a family of human-made chemicals, in the Huron River watershed were thanks to the efforts of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team that worked with local wastewater treatment plants.

New York:

After recently learning that the United States Air Force may not include Stewart Air National Guard Base in the towns o New Windsor and Newburgh in its next round of priority cleanup sites – because of a bureaucratic internal policy penalizing Newburgh for no longer using Lake Washington as their drinking water source – U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has asked Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett to include the the Stewart base in next year’s tranche of Remedial Investigations, allowing for the critical next step of PFAS cleanup to finally begin.

It’s been eight months since the pubic learned that Norlite, the incineration plant in Cohoes, burned over 2 million pounds of toxic fire-fighting foam or AFFF in 2018 and 2019. Environmental advocates believe there’s a good chance that process released cancer-causing chemicals into the surrounding environment.

Cohoes Common Council has since put a one-year ban on incinerating AFFF and on Wednesday night state officials announced detailed plans to test the soil and water around the plant.


The water system serving the Aullwood Audubon Farm Discovery Center, which is an educational facility and event space in Dayton, has tested positive for elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.


Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. is getting a $3.9 million state-funded loan for equipment related to ongoing PFAS remediation in Montgomery County.

The loan through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PENNVEST, is part of a $181 million statewide funding program for 16 water infrastructure projects across 12 counties, a news release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office states.

Catch up with PFAS news on Great Lakes Now:

Michigan PFAS activist has cancer, says she’s not surprised

Citizen Excellence: Sandy Wynn-Stelt receives EPA award for efforts to combat PFAS

Indiana universities receive grants to study PFAS impact on water quality

PFAS News Roundup: Landfills, Wisconsin action plan, AGs urge congress to be tough on PFAS

PFAS News Roundup: PFAS puts pregnancies at risk, Nestle and La Croix among waters with elevated PFAS

PFAS Progress: Michigan continues legislative push for more action against PFAS

PFAS Around the Great Lakes Region: Actions taken in each state or province and standards set, if any

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Featured image: Huron River (Great Lakes Now Episode 1001)


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