Nantucket Makes Progress in Combating PFAS

NANTUCKET – Nantucket’s health director recently gave an update on where the town stands with PFAS and new ways to combat the “forever chemicals.”

Roberto Santamaria offered the report after attending a conference about the science of PFAS which covered destruction technologies.

“We have high hopes that we’ll be able to implement some of that technology here. Everything from oxidation, so that we can remove it from the influent, as well as plasma destruction so that we’re not going to be releasing anything into the effluent,” Santamaria said.  

Members of the Nantucket PFAS Action Group were also at the conference and gave a presentation about PFAS-free firefighter protection gear.

Santamaria said that Nantucket is ahead of other municipalities in the state on this issue and that an official from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Lakeville office wanted to interface with Nantucket’s health department.

“To see what we’re seeing here and potentially inform some of the state regulatory processes. So that was very good, we’re moving in the right direction,” Santamaria said.

The positive news was balanced with Santamaria saying work is slow-moving in dealing with PFAS on Nantucket. The health director said it had been about two years since the chemicals were found near Nantucket Memorial Airport.

Santamaria’s department will continue to categorize where the chemicals appear in other water sources and waste streams on the island.

He closed the update stating that there has been knowledge-based progress on the PFAS front, which could hopefully lead to more action.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

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