News & Press

EGGI Serves as Thought Leader Across PFOA & PFOS Contamination Cases

Scientists at EGGI are providing technical leadership for several major public water utilities in Southern New Hampshire whose groundwater supplies have been impacted by two emerging contaminants of concern known as PFOA and PFOS, which are both Perfluorinated Compounds.  In response to the public outcry of concern regarding this contamination, EGGI led by Jamie Emery, Jeff Marts, and Dan Tinkham have been active participants in public meetings, served on expert panels fielding questions from the public, and testified before governmental bodies at the local level.  In addition to working directly on technical issues, Jamie Emery and Jeff Marts met with US Senator Kelley Ayotte to advocate for an appropriate Federal Response to the growing crisis.   

Perfluorinated Compounds or PFCs are emerging contaminants of concern that have impacted groundwater in several New Hampshire municipalities that rely on aquifers for a major portion of their drinking water supply. PFC compounds are widely used in the manufacture of numerous consumer products including stain and water resistant fabrics, food packaging, and products containing Teflon.  PFCs tend to bioaccumulate and have been found in humans and animals around the globe because they are easily transported in air and highly mobile in water.  This class of compounds is chemically stable and resistant to degradation, making them particularly persistent in the environment.  

Due to a growing body of evidence that PFOA and PFOS can adversely affect human health, the USEPA issued a long-term health advisory for PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) in May 2016.  The new drinking water health advisory is 70 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS combined. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) immediately adopted the EPA Health Advisory Level as an emergency Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard. 

The use of major Production Wells in the communities of Portsmouth, Dover, and Merrimack that are serving large water systems have been terminated until treatment measures are implemented to lower PFC levels below the 70 parts per trillion level.  Alternatively, replacement wells will be constructed at some locations and placed in service.   EGGI provides professional consulting services to all three of these communities and has played a leading role in advising them as they evaluate treatment options and/or develop replacement well sites that produce groundwater sources that comply with the new EPA standard for PFOA and PFOS. 

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