State Finds High Concentrations Of Chemical Pollution At East Hampton Airport

After a months-long investigation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said in report released on Thursday that it has found four areas on the East Hampton Airport property with very high levels of the chemical compounds that have been found in drinking water wells throughout the southern portion of Wainscott.
In two of the locations, the levels of PFOS, one of the two chemicals found, were four times the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion—a bar that has itself been criticized as being many times higher than the dose that may actually pose health concerns.
The two sites of highest concentration were found on the airport facility itself, where plane crash training-and-response drills have been held.
The second highest concentrations were found under a cleared area at the northern end of one of the airport’s secondary runways, where the DEC report says training drills were staged.
"DEC’s Site Characterization for the East Hampton Airport site revealed four distinct Areas of Concern where additional study is needed to fully delineate the nature and extent of the identified contamination," said Michael Ryan, director of DEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation.
The DEC has also designated the neighboring Wainscott Sand & Gravel property as a site with potential additional contamination, because another mass casualty drill was held there in June 2000, and is working with the owners to establish a similar testing protocol and investigation as was done on the airport property over the last year.
Soon after the discovery of the chemical PFOS and PFOA in well water in Wainscott in October 2017, the town began offering to supply bottled water to all residents of Wainscott.
By last spring the town was pushing forward with providing grants to homeowners to install charcoal water filtration systems that can scrub out the two chemicals from well water and in the spring the town and Suffolk County Water Authority announced plans to extend water mains throughout the hamlet.
Last week, the town filed a lawsuit against the Bridgehampton Fire Department and East Hampton Village, which owns the East Hampton Fire Department, and the manufacturers and suppliers of the fire-suppressant foams that were used by the departments over the years.
The town has also been named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of Wainscott homeowners—one of dozens of such suits that have been filed across the country over contamination of drinking water supplies by chemicals from firefighting foams.

Bottled water bad for health and the environment

Why do people drink bottled water? Is it more convenient? Does it taste better then tap water? Is it safer then tap water? Where does it come from? Read on for answers. Bottled water may be hurting your health. A new study suggests plastic bottles release small amounts of chemicals over long periods of time. The longer water is stored in plastic bottles, the higher the concentration of potentially harmful chemicals. 132 brands in 28 countries were tested. Most water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. One fifth of the brands tested positive for the presence of synthetic chemicals, such as industrial chemicals and chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Phthalate an endocrine inhibitor, a harmful chemical that leaches into bottled water from its plastic container is particularly nasty. Bottled water companies, are not under the same accountability standards as municipal water systems, and may provide a significantly lower quality of water than the water from the tap. Recent allegations against the Coca-Cola Company and its brand name of bottled water, Dasani, have publicly highlighted one of the biggest misconceptions about the quality of bottled water. Coca-Cola, advertises its bottled water as “pure, still water,” is now being investigated for misleading consumers about the true nature of the contents of its bottles. Rather than deriving its water from natural springs, Coca-Cola has actually been filling its Dasani bottles with…

Data shows very high PFAS levels at Wolverine dump

A monitoring well on the southern border of the old sludge dump at 1855 House Street NE detected perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) at 44,000 parts-per-trillion (ppt), according to a Nov. 27 report by Wolverine’s contractor Rose & Westra GZA.
Test results show PFOS at 44k-ppt @WolverineWW’s House Street dump in Belmont: #PFAS — Garret M. Ellison (@garretellison) December 21, 2017 Notably, the PFOS level under the House Street landfill, where sludge from Wolverine’s tannery was dumped on a daily basis throughout the 1960s, is 7.5 times lower than the PFOS concentration underneath the former tannery site itself in downtown Rockford.
Discovery of PFAS in wells near House Street in April sparked a multi-township search for old Wolverine tannery waste dump sites, sampling of more than 1,000 residential wells so far, numerous meetings and anxiety among residents of northern Kent County.
The landfill sits on a ridge of high ground near the divide between the Rogue River and Grand River watersheds.
According to the report, "most of the groundwater at the site area is expected to flow southwest for a relatively short distance, approximately 1,000 to 2,000 feet, then flow southeast toward the Rogue River."
Monitoring wells are also being drilled near the river.
Most of those are planned in the House Street plume area, although some are planned in Algoma Township, where sludge believed to have been dumped in an old gravel pit that’s now a pond near Royal Hannah Drive NE has contaminated homes in the Wellington Ridge subdivision with PFAS levels as high as 10,000-ppt.
The contamination is "likely to reach" the Rogue River — where Wolverine began canvassing and supplying bottled water to homes on the east bank near Woodwater Drive NE this week.
"It sits on a mound on a divide where the chemicals can make their way a long distance.
You have river systems involved — it’s a complicated area to study."

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Klamath River emergency dilution flows not required in 2017; Bill to protect Clear Lake passes State Assembly, moves to Senate; New water source for Lake Camanche Village moves forward

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Klamath River emergency dilution flows not required in 2017; Bill to protect Clear Lake passes State Assembly, moves to Senate; New water source for Lake Camanche Village moves forward.
Klamath River Emergency Dilution Flows Not Required in 2017 From the Bureau of Reclamation: The Bureau of Reclamation announces that Klamath River emergency dilution flows will not be required in 2017 to mitigate the effects of a parasite called Ceratanova shasta (or C. shasta) on outmigrating juvenile salmon.
The winter-spring flows were conducted on multiple occasions during February and March 2017, after which Reclamation shifted its focus to planning for implementation of emergency dilution flows, which the court ordered to be implemented between April 1 and June 15 if certain disease thresholds were exceeded.
Specifically, the court ordered Reclamation to utilize up to 50 thousand acre feet to implement emergency dilution flows if: C. Shasta spore concentrations exceed 5 spores/liter (non-specific genotype) based on quantitative polymerase chain reaction at any sampling station, or Prevalence of infection of all captured juvenile Chinook salmon exceeds 20 percent for the preceding week at the Kinsman Rotary Screw Trap site.
These flows would be required until June 15 or until 80 percent of juvenile salmon had outmigrated if either of the preceding two thresholds were exceeded.
Clear Lake is also home to the Clear Lake Hitch, a federally-endangered fish, and holds environmental significance for the surrounding region’s plant and animal life.
“This Committee and the maintenance of a healthy Clear Lake will be a community effort,” said Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry.
Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa County, all of Yolo County except West Sacramento, Dixon in Solano County and Rohnert Park in Sonoma County.
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——————— About News Worth Noting: News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.

Airway Heights pumping out contaminated water that some say could be replaced by Fairchild supplies

Water tested at a pair of contaminated Airway Heights wells contains chemical concentrations more than 15 times greater than thresholds established by federal regulators, according to city officials. The Environmental Protection Agency has established a limit of 70 parts per trillion for chemicals, known by the acronyms PFOA and PFOS, that were used for decades in fire-retardant foam at a fire training site on Fairchild Air Force Base. Two wells tested in Airway Heights showed levels above 1,100 parts per trillion, City Manager Albert Tripp said. The wells have been shut off from the system as part of a flushing process that is expected to last until at least Monday, when the city will again test its supplies for traces of the chemicals. The levels established by the EPA are not enforceable under any federal law, and the Spokane Regional Health District stresses that the link between exposure and potential health problems is not yet completely understood. Airway Heights is pumping water into its system from Spokane to meet demand during the flushing period. The city has been releasing potentially contaminated water from hydrants in locations that would minimize any new contamination, including spraying it in areas where city irrigation has been occurring for years, Anderson said. “We’re trying to discharge it onto city properties as much as possible,” Anderson said. Fairchild has lent its assistance in handing out bottled water to affected citizens, but several former and current city officials say the base could be providing additional water…

MIT Researchers Use Electrochemical Method To Clean Water

MIT Researchers Use Electrochemical Method To Clean Water.
Relying on an electrochemical process, a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) have developed a new method to remove very dilute concentrations of pollutants and even extremely low levels of unwanted compounds from water.
Separation methods that existed before tend to consume a lot of energy and chemicals.
The study, titled “Asymmetric Faradaic systems for selective electrochemical separations,” was first published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal Energy and Environmental Science.
The methods and systems that are being used in current water treatment plants and labs include membrane filtration, which, despite its high cost, has limited effectiveness at low concentrations, electrodialysis and capacitive deionization, which often require high voltages that tend to produce side reactions.
Adding to their shortcomings, these processes are hampered by excess background salts.
These electrode surfaces are coated with Faradaic materials, which can undergo reactions to become positively or negatively charged.
These active groups can be tuned to bind strongly with a specific type of pollutant molecule, as the team demonstrated using ibuprofen and various pesticides.
Su argues that the same selective process should also be applied to the recovery of high-value compounds in a chemical or pharmaceutical production plant, where compounds might otherwise be wasted.
Matthew Suss, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Technion Institute of Technology in Israel, who was not involved in this work, finds this technique as highly significant.

Future drought will offset benefits of higher CO2 on soybean yields

Future drought will offset benefits of higher CO2 on soybean yields.
An eight-year study of soybeans grown outdoors in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere like that expected by 2050 has yielded a new and worrisome finding: Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations will boost plant growth under ideal growing conditions, but drought — expected to worsen as the climate warms and rainfall patterns change — will outweigh those benefits and cause yield losses much sooner than anticipated.
The new discovery, reported in the journal Nature Plants, contradicts a widely accepted hypothesis about how climate change will affect food production, said University of Illinois plant biology professor Andrew Leakey, who led the new research.
Under hot and dry conditions at elevated CO2, the plants in the SoyFACE experiments used more, not less, water than those grown under current atmospheric conditions, the researchers found.
"What we think is happening is that early in the growing season, when the plant has enough water, it’s able to photosynthesize more as a result of the higher CO2 levels.
Elevated CO2 and drought together also influence soybean’s ability to fix nitrogen through nodules formed on its roots.
Under elevated CO2 and drought, the number of beneficial nodules on the soybean roots increases, Leakey said.
"But what we find is that they put all these extra nodules on in relatively shallow soil layers.
And the nodules don’t work well when they’re in dry soil."
Intensifying drought eliminates the expected benefits of elevated carbon dioxide for soybean.