Can ‘forever chemicals’ be removed from waste stream?

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 6:57 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Congress is digging into solutions to PFAS problems playing out in Vermont and around the country.

The so-called forever chemicals have been linked to cancer and are in many consumer products. PFAS were first found in Bennington’s water supply in 2016 and have since been discovered in many areas. The Coventry landfill’s disposal of PFAS-laden leachate in Montpelier’s waste treatment plant has become one major issue of concern.

This week, a key congressional committee heard from scientists and environmentalists on new technologies which could process and eliminate the contaminants. Researchers developing solutions say no one state or company can solve the problem alone.

“In terms of how to tackle this problem on the national scale, is to have organizations working together to bring forward solutions, whether that be at the state and local level or the federal level or with nonprofit organizations like Batelle,” said Amy Dindal, with the Battelle Memorial Institute, a private nonprofit applied science and technology development company.

A proposal in front of the Montpelier City Council would require Casella to explore new technologies to remove PFAS from the leachate. The company currently sends the untreated leachate to the Montpelier plant, which then releases it into the Winooski River and eventually Lake Champlain.

Whether it’s removing PFAS or banning them from consumer products, experts say it’s a shared problem for Vermont and the nation.

Related Stories:

Montpelier to consider treating more PFAS-laden ‘garbage juice’

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Quebec lawmakers say Coventry landfill threatens drinking water

Report: Vt. wastewater plants sending landfill PFAS into waterways

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