Governor Ned Lamont’s office announced Monday that the state has completed its final action plan on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. The plan is the state’s attempt to address this class of nearly 5,000 chemicals, which an emerging body of science links to negative health effects in animals and humans.
Betsey Wingfield, a deputy commissioner for environmental quality at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said one component of the action plan is gathering more baseline data about PFAS contamination in the state.
How ubiquitous is PFAS in fish in Connecticut? How ubiquitous is it in our streams and rivers? And at what concentration? And that will really help guide our response in how we look at this issue,” Wingfield said.
The plan also calls for more testing of public drinking water — and the possibility of a take back program for PFAS-containing firefighting foam for state agencies and municipal fire departments.
“In addition we want people to be aware of PFAS as a class of chemicals,” Wingfield said. “We want to be able to help people try to minimize their exposure [and] identify those areas where human health is potentially impacted, if there is contaminated drinking water in the state.”
Monday’s report follows two-high profile incidents at Bradley Airport.
In June, an accident at a private aircraft hangar sent thousands of gallons of PFAS-filled firefighting foam into the Farmington River.
Then last month, a World-War II era B-17 crashed at Bradley, killing seven people. PFAS-filled foam which was used to put out the blaze subsequently got into nearby water and soil.
Since the June spill, a ban on eating fish taken from the Farmington River in Windsor has remained in place.