PFAS troubles: EPA guidance, county suing DNR

The Environmental Protection Agency released new guidelines that indicate PFAS “forever chemicals” found in drinking water pose health risks even at levels so low they cannot currently be detected, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. While U.S. manufacturers have voluntarily replaced PFAS chemicals with newer compounds, the chemicals remain in the environment because they do not break down naturally. The new guidelines are thousands of times lower than Wisconsin’s new drinking water standards for the compounds.   

In a related story, Dane County is suing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over a new five-year permit issued in April that requires the county to test the water leaving the airport four times a year for 33 PFAS compounds and to come up with a plan to reduce contamination in the runoff. The county would like the PFAS-related conditions in the DNR permit to be deleted. The airport’s permit was written to ensure compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and state water standards and to address pollutants such as deicing chemicals, petroleum products, sediments, and PFAS.