PFAS

Benner Township has recently become aware that that State of Pennsylvania did random water testing for PFAS across the state.  One of the wells tested was located in Benner Township at the State of the Art facility which is located across from the University Park Airport.  PFAS was found in this well.  (Click here to read the Press Release from the Wolf Administration 12/5/2019)       The Township Board of Supervisors have reached out to University officials as PFAS is known to be in high levels in fire fighting foams that are required to be used at airports.  Below is the press release that we were given from the University:

David Gray in early January appointed a task force led by Office of Physical Plant professionals who are expected to guide a comprehensive response to potential PFAS contamination at the airport or in surrounding University property. Penn State, at the request of DEP, is currently sampling several wells at the airport (none of which are used for drinking water) but we do not yet have results. Members of the task force include a number of individuals with expertise in water issues, including a representative from Environmental Health and Safety. The task force also includes the director of airport operations for Penn State. Once we have official results from testing, we will know more and be able to share accurate information. Penn State will follow all guidance provided by both EPA and DEP in this evolving area, and remains committed to protecting groundwater in the region. For more information on Pennsylvania’s PFAS Action Team Initial Report please go to https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/20191205-PFAS-Action-Team-Initial-Report-Pennsylvania.pdf

 

PSU Update – added 2/27/2020:

STATEMENT FROM PENN STATE: 

As you may know, Penn State has been contacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have been broadly used across the country in many products, such as carpeting, for the past several decades. Penn State is working cooperatively with DEP on water testing at several wells near the University Park Airport.

This is an emerging area of interest and study for both the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state DEP. Due to their widespread use and persistence in the environment, most people in the United States have been exposed to PFAS.

Penn State has received the results of the water sampling performed at the three wells near the University Park Airport that DEP requested be sampled for the possible presence of these widely used substances. While PFAS has not yet been classified as hazardous by the EPA, that agency has set a health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion for PFAS in water. The results for the three tested wells ranged from a low of 0 to a high of 25.5 parts per trillion.  The University communicated these results to DEP on Friday (Feb. 21).

As expected, DEP has requested that Penn State perform confirmation sampling on two of the wells.  We intend to schedule those soon and then will await further direction from DEP. We will keep you apprised as we learn more.

Charima C. Young

Director of Local Government and Community Relations

As we receive more information, we will continue to update this page.

Click here Benner Township PFAS HSCA Investigation Update to view the informational flyer that was prepared by DEP as an update on the PFAS investigation in the Township (Updated 10/19/2021).

Click here for Penn State’s Updated Statement (Posted 11/10/2021)  PSU PFAS STATEMENT FINAL.11.08.21 (002)_cy_FINAL (1)

Additional questions can be directed to DEP:

John Ciccone    Phone: (570)321-6594    email:  jciccone@pa.gov

Cheryl Sinclair  Phone: (570)327-3418    email:  csinclair@pa.gov

A website has been created to keep the most up to date information at:

https://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/North-Central-Regional-Office/Community-Information/Pages/Benner-Township-HSCA-Investigation.aspx

 UPDATED 2/24/22

Click here for the latest update from DEP PFAS Update 2-18-2022

Added 3/23/2022

Attached please find a press release announcing that DEP opened a 60-day public comment period on proposed maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) in drinking water for two forms of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, otherwise known as PFASThe comment period will run from February 26, 2022 to April 27, 2022.

The proposed rule would set a MCL of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 18 ppt for PFOS. These limits are lower than the current U.S. EPA’s lifetime Health Advisory Level (HAL) of 70 ppt combined.

PFAS are a class of synthetic chemicals used since the 1940s to make water, heat, and stain resistant products such as cookware, carpets, clothing, furniture fabrics, paper packaging for food, and other resistant materials. These chemicals are persistent in the human body and throughout the environment.

Comments can be submitted to the Environmental Quality Board through DEP’s eComment system by clicking this link or visiting http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment. Comments may also be submitted via e-mail at RegComments@pa.govEach comment must include a subject heading of the proposed rulemaking and the name and address of the person submitting the comment. Written comments may be mailed to the Environmental Quality Board, P.O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477.

Additionally, five virtual public hearings will be held in March, with detailed registration information found in both the press release and on DEP’s Public Participation webpage.  Dates and times for these hearings are as follows:

March 21, 2022 at 1 p.m. – via Webex
March 22, 2022 at 6 p.m. – via Webex
March 23, 2022 at 1 p.m. – via Webex
March 24, 2022 at 9 a.m. – via Webex
March 25, 2022 at 9 a.m. – via Webex

DEP Update April 15, 2022

April 15, 2022 DEP Update

EPSON MFP image

 

Update Added 5/3/22

Benner Township PFAS Investigation Update - April 29, 2022

In continuation of DEP’s HSCA investigation into the PFAS groundwater plume in Benner Township, regional HSCA staff collected 10 private water supply samples during the week of April 18, 2022 for a total of 65 private supply well samples collected to date.  For those homes with combined PFOA and PFOS concentrations at or greater than the EPA HAL of 70 ppt (parts per trillion), bottled water delivery has been arranged as an immediate, short-term alternate drinking water source.  DEP intends to follow up the provision of bottled water with the installation of whole home treatment systems for those residents with water supply wells containing concentrations at or greater than 70 ppt who do not have an existing treatment system that is effectively reducing levels to below the EPA HAL.

Because DEP has initiated what is referred to as a “Prompt Interim Response” with the bottled water delivery, our response activities will be open for a 90-day public comment period, during which a public hearing will be held for residents to present oral comments.  Any comments should be focused on the actions under the Prompt Interim Response and not on other actions the DEP is conducting. All comments, written and oral, will be included in a Public Comment and Response document following the public comment period that will be made available on DEP’s project website as well as sent to any commentors who have provided contact information.

In conjunction with the public comment period notification, an Administrative Record containing documentation of DEP’s response decision and alternatives considered will be made available for public viewing at both DEP’s project website,(Copy and paste this link https://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/North-Central-Regional-Office/Community-Information/Pages/Benner-Township-HSCA-Investigation.aspx  ) and at the Benner Township Municipal Building.

Public Hearing:   Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Benner Township Municipal Building,                                                                                            1224 Buffalo Run Road, Bellefonte, PA  16823

Public Comment Period:  May 28, 2022 – August 26, 2022

Written responses to all comments will be compiled and made available to the public following the end of the public comment period.

Notification for the public comment period and hearing will appear in the PA Bulletin, the Centre Daily Times, and the DEP project website