The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared on the Mashpee Enterprise website on September 13th, regarding PFAS on Cape Cod:
By JESSICA HILL, Mashpee Enterprise, Sep 13, 2019
Although one well in Mashpee is set to reopen by the end of the month after it closed more than two years ago when chemical contaminants known as PFAS were found, another contaminated well on Turner Road remains out of commission.
State funding, however, could help remediate the well along with multiple sites throughout the Upper Cape that have been contaminated.
Multiple water sites throughout Falmouth, Mashpee and Bourne contain levels of PFAS — a group of chemicals found in drinking water throughout the nation that have been linked to adverse health affects.
Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. recently announced plans to allocate millions of dollars to testing and remediation for PFAS.
Mr. Baker is recommending $8.4 million to be used for testing to determine the scale of PFAS contamination in the drinking water. About $5 million of that will come from tax funds, and the rest will come from the penalty of Wynn Resorts.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will use the $8.4 million to conduct PFAS testing around the state, according to Ed Coletta, spokesman for Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Another $20 million will go toward Clean Water Trust to be used for remediation of PFAS and another $35 million will be used to expand the trust’s capacity, according to Gov. Baker’s budget bill. Towns or other entities will be able to get low-interest or zero-interest loans from Massachusetts Clean Water Trust to remediate contaminated sites.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are a group of chemicals found in drinking water, certain foods and household cleaning products. Fire fighting foams have become a major source of PFAS groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting is common, according to Environmental Protection Agency.
PFAS have been linked to adverse health effects, such as increasing cholesterol, weakening immune systems, reproductive and developmental problems as well as thyroid problems, according to the Environment Protection Agency.
Although PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States, according to United States Environmental Protection Agency, the chemicals remain in the environment for years.
“They call it the ‘forever chemicals,’ the PFAS chemicals, because they don’t degrade well in the environment,” Mr. Coletta said. “That’s one of the difficult issues to deal with — once it’s out there, it’s difficult to handle.”