U.S. EPA Announces Final PFAS Regulations

In a long-awaited public announcement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported its Final PFAS National Public Drinking Water Regulations. The EPA listed legally enforceable maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and health-based goals for the six major compounds most heavily tied to adverse health effects: perfluorooctanoic acid; perfluorooctane sulfonate; perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS); perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA); hexafluoropropylene oxide-dimer acid (HFPO-DA) and its ammonium salt, also known as GenX chemicals; and mixtures containing two or more of the PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid.

This heralds a national shift in the way that water utilities will be mandated to report on PFAS levels and the resources that will be available to them to counter the levels of PFAS in their water supplies. Water systems will have three years to gather initial monitoring data and five years to implement solutions or be made to notify the public of the MCL violation.

The EPA also announced that $1 billion will be available through funding programs to assist utilities and water providers, particularly for underserved communities, to aid in their approach to reaching maximum contaminant level goals.

Robert Basil Oleskow

Robert Oleskow, Co-Founder of Matt-Son Inc., Passes Away

Robert Basil Oleskow, a co-founder of Matt-Son Inc., passed away at the age of 85 on April 4, 2024. He was born October 6, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois, to Ukrainian immigrant parents Matthew Sr. and Anna, with whom he co-founded Matt-Son Inc. He was married for the last 20 years to his wife, Diane. Oleskow lived his life with a code of ethics and principles that valued hard work, commitment, and an appreciation for life.

California Sets Hexavalent Chromium Maximum Contaminant Level

The California State Water Resource Board has made California the first state to independently set a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for carcinogenic heavy metal hexavalent chromium (chromium-6).

This MCL is set at 10 parts per billion (ppb), significantly less than the U.S. EPA’s national MCL for chromium of 100 ppb, and the California board’s regulation targets chromium-6, one of the leading chromium compounds associated with adverse health effects. Previously, California held a drinking water limit of 50 ppb for chromium.

Depending on their size and connection services to the public, water systems will have two to five years to comply with this ruling, and funding will be made available to help achieve these goals.

Dutch Microbiologist Awarded Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize

For his significant contributions to the field of wastewater-based epidemiology, Professor Gertjan Medema, 62, has been awarded the 2024 Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize in Singapore.

Ong Tze-Ch’in (left), chief executive, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, congratulated the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2024 Laureate, Professor Gertjan Medema, principal microbiologist of the KWR Water Research Institute.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Medema’s research in wastewater surveillance helped to capture public health data, which was rapidly recognized internationally for its capacity to detect the presence of the virus in a community prior to any official cases being reported.

Currently, Medema is the tenth recipient of this prestigious recognition, which includes a S$300,000 (approximately $220,000 U.S. dollars) cash prize from the Temasek Foundation, given during an acceptance ceremony hosted by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the president of Singapore.

Warren Controls Announces New Senior Application Engineer

Warren Controls, a manufacturer of control valves and specialty fluid handling products, has announced that Brooks Matelan has taken on the role of senior application engineer. Matelan brings a strong technical background to the position, and his 15 years of customer service, technical sales, and support experiences give him the skills needed to excel in his new role at Warren Controls.

NAWI Receives $75 Million to Decarbonize Water Sector

To move toward a future with stronger desalination practices, the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI), led by the Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been extended for five more years with $75 million in funding from the DOE. This funding is expected to help NAWI in its continued efforts to invest in technological solutions to make water treatment, usage, and distribution all operate more efficiently through decarbonization in both water and wastewater functions.

The next five years of research will be focused on creating strong pilot programs to benefit circular water economies through innovation and collaboration. NAWI is proud to maintain progress on its mission to revolutionize water technology and aims to meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.


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