Wednesday October 19, 2022

E & E News

The overwhelming majority of U.S. waterways are likely polluted with “forever chemicals,” according to a grim new analysis that comes as the country marks a half-century of its landmark water protection law.

PFAS have cropped in detectable levels across 83 percent of waterways tested across the country, per findings from the nonprofit Waterkeeper Alliance, which represents U.S. watershed monitors. Those numbers reflect the presence of the chemicals in 114 waterways across 29 states and the District of Columbia.

During a press conference Tuesday, Waterkeeper Alliance CEO Marc Yaggi said his organization’s findings should send a warning message to the public, along with officials.

“Existing laws and regulations are inadequate for protecting us,” Yaggi said.

The analysis, which relied on testing from 34 states and Washington, showed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in most of the waterways. Those without PFAS detections were largely in undeveloped areas. Most frequently, testing revealed multiple chemicals present at once, compounding possible health implications.

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