May 2019 editorial letter
Spring has arrived and with it comes change. The past few months have been turbulent at times for the water industry, with natural and manmade disasters impairing drinking water sources, but the new season and legislative session will target some of these problems.
In Michigan—a hotspot for per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS)—Gov. Gretchen Whitmer directed the state Department of Environmental Quality to start creating drinking water standards for five emerging contaminants. The state’s newly formed PFAS Action Response Team will review proposed and existing standards to develop a state standard by July 1, according to The Detroit News.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Health lowered health advisory values for perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, from 27 ppt to 15 ppt. The department also set a health advisory value for perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, known as PFHxS, at 47 ppt. The state previously did not have a value set for the contaminant due to a lack of scientific data, reported Minnesota Public Radio.
While some states—including Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California—have adopted their own standards for PFAS in drinking water, the U.S. EPA has not established a maximum contaminant level for PFAS chemicals. Earlier this year, the federal agency released a PFAS Action Plan that outlined 25 steps to address emerging contaminants in drinking water, and ultimately, to propose limits by the end of the year. Until additional standards are set, the point-of-use and point-of-entry industry continues to develop new products to target these contaminants and provide solutions for those whose water quality is impacted by them.
On the topic of change, some of you may recognize my name, and to others, I may be a new face. I have been writing for WQP for a year-and-a-half and in that time I have come to know some of the wonderful people that push this industry forward. I encourage you to reach out and introduce yourself, and I welcome the opportunity to continue to tell the stories that need to be shared.