Despite reports of holdup in federal review, Silent Spring plans to begin work early next year.


HYANNIS — Silent Spring Institute researchers say they are optimistic that two studies of the effects of PFAS-contaminated drinking water on the residents of Hyannis will proceed as expected.


For one study, the institute will take blood and urine samples and medical histories from 1,000 adults and 300 children in Hyannis and Ayer as part of a multimillion-dollar federal study of the toxic chemicals in water in seven states.


But a recent report in USA Today quoted a lead investigator for the New Jersey portion of the study, who said it is being held up by President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget.


The OMB, a branch of the White House, has the responsibility of reviewing the study because it is being led by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Laurel Schaider, a Silent Spring scientist, said Wednesday during a public meeting at Barnstable Town Hall. She said that agency is a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


“It’s a normal process,” Schaider said. Reports that the overall study is off to a slow start “does lead to some uncertainty,” she said. Cheryl Osimo, co-founder and Cape Cod coordinator of Silent Spring, said, “Until I hear something, I will remain confident we are going to move forward.” Osimo said she would reach out to the community if there were any unreasonable delays in starting the study in Hyannis and Ayer.