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EPA PFAS Community Engagement Meeting Summary

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency per/polyfluoroalklyl substances (PFAS) Community Engagement meeting held in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on August 14 followed the same general format as the three previous events held in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. There were opening remarks from EPA administrators, N.C. agency officials and politicians followed by technical panels, a community panel, and the day ended with several hours of public comment. Attendance was estimated at or above 500 and included many public water supply representatives, engineering firms, environmental groups, media, and concerned citizens. Not surprisingly, much time was spent on Cape Fear River / GenX / Chemours related issues, but there were other N.C. incidents presented.

Three EPA scientists each presented information on the research they are working on and resources they're providing, from their particular groups, regarding the wide range of PFAS issues facing states and tribal entities throughout the United States. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality presented specific actions and resources being devoted to in-state incidents/events by state government agencies. A representative from the National Center for Environmental Health-Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC) presented the ongoing toxicological research at the national level.

A local issues panel presented N.C.-specific PFAS incidents and activities. Two of the five presenters on that panel are current Eurofins Eaton Analytical water utility customers for PFAS testing. The topics included:

  • Technical challenges of PFAS treatment in drinking water
  • Case study in drinking water treatment modifications for PFAS
  • Challenges of public notification and ongoing communication in response to PFAS exceeding health advisory levels
  • Air quality – PFAS testing and airborne impact on groundwater
  • Groundwater issues and impact

The community panel segment consisted of presentations focused on PFAS' impact on people and the environment. Both presentations urged immediate regulation and remedial action from all levels of government in response to the PFAS challenges being identified locally and universally.

The final segment was a listening session during which individuals (who signed up) could speak openly to the group and the regulatory representatives present about their concerns and experiences.

The link to view the slides presented at the meeting is here.

- Joseph Mattheis, Eurofins Eaton Analytical