Jun 20, 2022

EPA Announces New Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFA

On June 15, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released drinking water health advisories for PFOA, PFOS, GenX chemicals, and PFBS. These chemicals are four separate subsets of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). EPA's advisories identify the PFAS chemical concentration in drinking water that EPA does not anticipate creating adverse health effects. EPA released its first ever drinking water health advisories for GenX chemicals and PFBS.  However, EPA's drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS replaced the health advisories it announced in 2016, which recommended a combined PFOA and PFOS chemical concentration below 70 parts per trillion (ppt). EPA's updated health advisories dramatically decrease its recommended PFOA and PFOS chemical concentration to near zero levels. The newly released drinking water health advisories are as follows:
  • PFOA = 0.004 ppt
  • PFOS = 0.02 ppt
  • GenX chemicals = 10 ppt
  • PFBS = 2,000 ppt

EPA acknowledges its recommended drinking water PFOA and PFOS chemical concentrations are below levels that EPA can reliably detect at this time.  While it may be difficult to determine whether drinking water is compliant with EPA's advisory PFAS levels, EPA states "[t]he lower the level of PFOA and PFOS, the lower the risk to public health." 

EPA's drinking water health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory documents meant to provide guidance for drinking water systems operators and other related parties. However, EPA is moving forward with proposing a PFAS National Drinking Water Regulation in fall 2022. Further, EPA is making $1 billion in grant funds available to help reduce PFAS chemical concentration in drinking water throughout the country. EPA's grants are the first of $5 billion allocated in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill toward reducing PFAS in drinking water.


Read full at:

https://www.michaelbest.com/Newsroom/290804/EPA-Announces-New-Drinking-Water-Health-Advisories-for-PFAS

100 Million People in the U.S. Live With Medical Debt

In the past five years, more than half of U.S. adults report they've gone into debt because of medical or dental bills. "Debt is no longer just a bug in our system. It is one of the main products. We have a health care system almost perfectly designed to create debt."

Jun 13, 2022

EPA Announces $6.5 Billion in New Funding Available for Water Infrastructure Projects

EPA Press Office – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the 2022 notices of funding availability for the agency's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and the State Infrastructure Financing Authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. This year's funding will provide up to $6.5 billion in total funding to support $13 billion in water infrastructure projects while creating more than 40,000 jobs.

"Water infrastructure provides the foundation for healthy and vibrant communities by delivering safe drinking water and returning our treated wastewater to the environment," said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. "In too many communities, these essential pipes and pumps are decades old and need to be upgraded. That's why EPA is providing $6.5 billion in low-cost financing through WIFIA and SWIFIA that can help revitalize our water systems while creating good paying jobs and delivering significant economic benefits, especially in underserved and overburdened communities."

The notices of funding availability include $5.5 billion for the WIFIA program and an additional $1 billion for the SWIFIA program. This round of funding will prioritize funding in four areas:

  • Increasing investment in economically stressed communities.
  • Making rapid progress on lead service line replacement.
  • Addressing PFAS and emerging contaminants.
  • Supporting one water innovation and resilience.

By prioritizing investment in underserved communities, EPA is considering prospective WIFIA borrowers consistent with the goals of President Biden's Justice40 initiative. This initiative intends to ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40% of benefits from certain investments, including water and wastewater infrastructure, to underserved communities.

To make WIFIA funding more adaptive to ongoing community needs, EPA is changing the way it accepts letters of interest from prospective borrowers. Letters of interest may be submitted by prospective borrowers and received by EPA at any time on or after September 6, 2022. The submission period will close when all available funds are committed to prospective borrowers. A rolling selection process allows EPA to provide year-round access to WIFIA funding, quicker selection decisions to prospective borrowers, and technical assistance to prospective borrowers. Since letters of interest will be evaluated when they are received, EPA encourages submissions at the beginning of the availability period.

EPA's WIFIA loan program is delivering the benefits of water infrastructure improvements nationwide. To date, EPA has closed 88 WIFIA loans that are providing over $15 billion in credit assistance to help finance nearly $33 billion for water infrastructure while creating nearly 100,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $5 billion.

For more information about WIFIA and this funding announcement, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.

WIFIA credit assistance can be used for a wide range of projects, including:

  • Drinking water treatment and distribution projects.
  • Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects.
  • Nonpoint source pollution management program.
  • Management, reduction, treatment, or recapture of stormwater.
  • National estuary program projects.
  • Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities.
  • Desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling projects.
  • Drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects.

Jun 9, 2022

Elevated Levels of PFAS Found In Several Fish Species

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced a new PFAS-based consumption advisory for bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike from Angelo Pond in Monroe County based on fish sampling.   

Elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), were found in several fish species sampled from Angelo Pond, a 53 acre impoundment of the La Crosse River near Sparta in May of 2021.

As a result, the DNR and DHS recommend the following consumption guidelines for bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and northern pike harvested from the La Crosse River at Angelo Pond:

Angelo Pond Fish Consumption Advisory Guidelines

SPECIES

PREVIOUS ADVISORY

NEW ADVISORY

Bluegill

General/Statewide Advisory*

1 meal/week for everyone

Crappie

General/Statewide Advisory*

1 meal/month for everyone

Largemouth Bass

General/Statewide Advisory*

1 meal/month for everyone

Northern Pike

General/Statewide Advisory*

1 meal/month for everyone

*The general/statewide consumption advice for women <50 and children is 1 meal/week for panfish and 1 meal/month for all other species. For women >50 and men, the general/statewide consumption advice is 1 meal/week for all species except for panfish, which are unrestricted.

In April 2021, the DNR and DHS issued a consumption advisory of 1 meal/month for brook and brown trout caught in Silver Creek, which flows into Angelo Pond. Sampling efforts continue in consultation with Fort McCoy due to results of elevated PFAS surface water samples received from Silver Creek in 2019.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used for decades in various products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foams that have made their way into the environment.

Health risks may increase when fish with high levels of PFAS are consumed. These can include increased cholesterol levels, decreased immune response, and decreased fertility in women, among other health effects. More information is available on the DHS website.

Following fish consumption advisories will help protect you from consuming excess PFOS, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. A complete list of up-to-date consumption advisories can be found in the DNR's Choose Wisely booklet.

Additional fish consumption advice and information on the effects of PFAS can be found on the DNR's website at:

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/chemical/pfas.htm

Jun 7, 2022

​ Study finds ‘millions of tons’ of extremely reactive chemical in Earth’s atmosphere

(Independent) Scientists say the newly discovered chemicals may be able to penetrate into aerosol

Scientists have discovered an entirely new class of super-reactive chemical compounds in the Earth's atmosphere that they say may affect both human health and global climate.

The study, published in the journal Science, documented for the first time the formation of so-called trioxides – extremely oxidising chemical compounds with three oxygen atoms attached to each other.

"This is what we have now accomplished. The type of compounds we discovered are unique in their structure. And, because they are extremely oxidising, they most likely bring a host of effects that we have yet to uncover," study senior author Henrik Grum Kjærgaard from the University of Copenhagen said in a statement.

In the new study, scientists have shown that hydrotrioxides, as they are known, are a completely new class of chemical compounds that form under atmospheric conditions.

Hydrotrioxides are a kind of hydrogen polyoxide, with water – containing two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom – being the simplest and most common of the type.

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Scientists have detected a new type of extremely reactive substance in the Earth's atmosphere that could pose a threat to human health, as well as the global climate.

(DailyMail) Scientists have detected a new type of extremely reactive substance in the Earth's atmosphere that could pose a threat to human health, as well as the global climate.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have demonstrated that trioxides – chemical compounds with three oxygen atoms attached to each other – are formed under atmospheric conditions.   

Trioxides are even more reactive than peroxides – which have two oxygen atoms attached to each other, making them highly reactive and often flammable and explosive.

Peroxides are known to exist in the air surrounding us, and it was predicted that trioxides were probably in the atmosphere as well, but until now it has never been unequivocally proven.

'This is what we have now accomplished,' says Professor Henrik Grum Kjærgaard, at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Chemistry.

'The type of compounds we discovered are unique in their structure. And, because they are extremely oxidising, they most likely bring a host of effects that we have yet to uncover.'


Read full from source:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10861331/Entirely-new-kind-highly-reactive-chemical-Earths-atmosphere.html