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.