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Town hall meeting held in Richland Township to discuss PFAS levels

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Environmental officials held a town hall meeting in Richland Township last night to update citizens on PFAS contamination found in local wells.

Following the discovery of PFAS levels over the federal recommended limit near the Production Plated Plastics site, the Department of Environmental Quality is testing 25 more wells east of the site. At the meeting, some residents expressed frustration with the pace of testing and limited data on the effects of PFAS. Scott Dean is a spokesman for the DEQ.  He says state and local agencies are doing what they can with the information they do have.

“We hear people’s frustration and we understand it. It does seem sometimes like science moves slowly...but we do need to base our research and our investigation and our response activities…based on data and science. It’s a very data driven process.”

Deb Bogema’s well is being tested for PFAS. Bogema says she has lived in the Richland area for over thirty years. She says she worries about the long-term effects of PFAS contamination.

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“You know just the exposure in general causes me great concern.  I mean I can deal with me, but my granddaughters, our pets...that basically we have victimized because we didn’t know better.”

The latest test results should be available to residents within three weeks, according to a DEQ spokesman.  Household filtration systems and municipal water hookups have been suggested as potential long-term solutions for the contamination, but state and local officials say they are waiting on the new results before making any changes. Residents whose wells have already tested high for PFAS are receiving bottled water.