Saturday, November 27, 2021


Don't want the hassles of Black Friday - consider a refurbished gift this year; day after Thanksgiving travel could be messy - and supporters regroup for recreational marijuana in South Dakota.


Big retailers predict an historic holiday shopping season, but small businesses are not sharing that optimism, and economists weigh in on what s behind the nation's labor shortages.


South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

EPA’s PFAS Roadmap Could Soon Improve WV Communities' Water Quality


Tuesday, October 26, 2021   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The federal government said it soon will begin taking steps to study and restrict the use of so-called "forever" chemicals called Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acids (PFOAs).

The chemicals have been found in drinking-water systems in the Ohio Valley and eastern panhandle. In a recently released roadmap, the Biden administration said it will for the first time require industries producing the chemicals to provide the government with toxicity data.

Betsy Southerland, former director of the EPA's Office of Science and Technology and a volunteer member of the Environmental Protection Network, said the plan is a critical first step toward protecting public health.

She explained the agency is also expected to propose a drinking-water standard for the two most frequently occurring PFAS chemicals.

"That will be really important to all the drinking-water systems in the country," Southerland contended.

West Virginia communities are desperate for action to prevent their exposure to the toxic chemicals, which have been linked to a host of negative health effects, including cancer.

One 2019 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found residents of Martinsburg had elevated levels of PFAS in their blood compared with national averages.

The agency also said it will begin working on a new rule slated for proposal next fall to set the stage for considering PFOAs and PFAS as hazardous substances.

Sutherland argued the designation will subsequently hold companies accountable.

"Which in turn means that any party responsible for contaminating with a hazardous substance will have to pay to clean it up," Sutherland stressed.

Southerland added beyond drinking water, consumers can be exposed to PFAS in numerous ways in daily life, highlighting the need for stricter regulations.

"It's in our cosmetics, it's in our food packaging, it's in our cookware, it's everywhere," Southerland observed. "You can't just say, 'Oh, wow, I'm really upset. My drinking water is contaminated.' That's probably the least of your worries."

She emphasized exposure to PFAS even reaches the uterus. One 2016 study published in the journal Environmental Health detected PFAS in more than 90% of nearly 2,000 cord blood samples collected from pregnant women.

get more stories like this via email
Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…


HELENA, Mont. -- To honor the Biden administration's steps toward greater ties with tribal nations, conservation groups are calling on it to list the …

Social Issues

PIERRE, S.D. -- Supporters of establishing recreational marijuana in South Dakota say they're pouring all their energy into a new ballot initiative…

Farming is Virginia's largest private industry, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (Adobe Stock)


RICHMOND, Va. -- In central Virginia, permanent access to land is one of the biggest barriers to farming. A new land-trust model aims to secure both …

Social Issues

BOSTON -- This holiday season, consumer advocates are urging Commonwealth residents to consider giving gifts that don't require purchasing anything…

The mission of the 'Buy Nothing Project' is to promote the giving of goods and services within hyperlocal circles. (bfleeson/Pixabay)

Social Issues

AUSTIN, Texas -- Supply chain delays have some holiday shoppers stressed that gifts won't be on store shelves on this "Black Friday," or won't arrive …

Social Issues

DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- A team of New York-based filmmakers is producing a documentary about reclaiming Indigenous heritage, told through the experiences of an 18…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021