Feb 27, 2022

Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Acts on Proposed PFAS Standards

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) acted on three rule proposals that would establish groundwater, drinking water and surface water quality standards for PFOA and PFOS, two long-chain per- or poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). As discussed in greater detail below, the Board voted to advance a rule establishing surface water quality criteria for PFOA and PFOS, modified the proposed drinking water quality standards for PFOA and PFOS (changing the proposed standard from 20 ppt to 70 ppt combined PFOA and PFOS), and deadlocked on NR 140 groundwater standards.

First, on a tie vote (3-3, with one board member abstaining) the NRB declined to advance the "Cycle 10" NR 140 groundwater standards. This rule proposed establishing 25 new or revised groundwater quality standards, including an enforcement standard (ES) for combined PFOA and PFOS of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) and a preventive action limit (PAL) of 2 ppt. In addition to PFOA and PFOS, the rule included new standards for several agricultural chemicals and their breakdown products, including a groundwater standard for glyphosate (the active ingredient in the herbicide Round Up) as well as imidacloprid (an insecticide). The Cycle 10 package also proposed a reduction in the standard for trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound.

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Feb 22, 2022

Population of American Bumblebee Diminished by Nearly 90 Percent Study Says

Once one of the most commonly found bumblebees in the United States, the population of the American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus) is in serious decline. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviewed a petition calling for the species to be listed as an endangered or threatened species and found it "may be warranted."

The population has dropped by 89 percent and is headed toward extinction, according to the petition written by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Bombus Pollinators Association of Law Students of Albany Law School.

This sharp decline, the study stated, can be due to a number of factors, including habitat loss, pesticides, disease, climate change, competition with honey bees, and loss of genetic diversity.

"In the last 20 years, the American [bumblebee] has vanished from at least eight states, mostly in the Northeast, and it is in precipitous decline in many more," the study read.

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