Barnstable County Considers Ways to Pay for PFAS Cleanup

HYANNIS – Barnstable County Commissioners have voted to transfer roughly $622,000 in available funds to pay for ongoing PFAS cleanup work at the former fire training site in Hyannis at a board meeting last week.  

The funds will be used to pay for professional contractual services, utilities, permits, filters, and operation and maintenance associated with PFAS cleanup.

According to County Administrator Beth Albert and officials from the county’s finance department, Barnstable has been appropriating funds for PFAS cleanup on a ‘pay-as-we-go basis.’

“What I’m trying to do and what I’m working towards is an annual appropriation now that we have a better idea of the costs associated with the cleanup,” Albert said.

Vice-Chair Ronald Bergstrom agreed with Albert and said the county needs to have an annual fund instead of taking a piecemeal approach. Bergstrom also stressed that the county takes the matter of clean water seriously.

“It is a commitment and I think everyone should understand that Barnstable County stands behind its commitment to providing clean water to everyone who is in that watershed area,” Bergstrom said.

Commissioner Mark Forest said the recently passed federal infrastructure bill includes funds dedicated to PFAS cleanup. Forest urged the board to make more efforts to figure out how the county can get access to some of these funds for PFAS cleanup.

According to a previous report from NewsCenter, PFAS is a man-made chemical used in a variety of products from stain-resistant carpets to firefighting foams, the latter of which was determined to be the major cause of contamination in Hyannis water supplies prior to July 2016.

Local drinking water supplies have since been treated to remove PFAS from tap water.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

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