State PFAS Plan Calls For More Water Testing After Two Accidents At Bradley | Connecticut Public Radio
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State PFAS Plan Calls For More Water Testing After Two Accidents At Bradley

Nov 4, 2019

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office announced Monday that the state has completed its final action plan to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a class of nearly 5,000 chemicals that has been linked to health problems in animals and humans.

Betsey Wingfield, a deputy commissioner for environmental quality at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said one component of the plan involves gathering more baseline data about PFAS contamination in the state.

“How ubiquitous is PFAS in fish in Connecticut? How ubiquitous is it in our streams and rivers? And at what concentration? And that will really help guide our response in how we look at this issue,” Wingfield said.

The plan also calls for more testing of public drinking water -- and a possible takeback program for PFAS-containing firefighting foam for state agencies and municipal fire departments.

“In addition, we want people to be aware of PFAS as a class of chemicals,” Wingfield said. “We want to be able to help people try to minimize their exposure [and] identify those areas where human health is potentially impacted, if there is contaminated drinking water in the state.”

Monday’s report follows two high-profile incidents at Bradley International Airport this year.

In June, an accident at a private aircraft hangar sent thousands of gallons of PFAS-filled firefighting foam into the Farmington River.

Then last month, a World War II-era B-17 plane crashed at Bradley, killing seven people. PFAS-filled foam that was used to put out the blaze subsequently got into nearby water and soil.

Since the June spill, the state has banned eating fish from the Farmington River in Windsor.