Governor DeWine has ordered an analysis of PFAS in Ohio drinking water by directing the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to analyze the prevalence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
PFAS are man-made chemicals that are used in products such as carpeting, upholstery, cookware, food packaging and firefighting foam. Contamination from manufacturing operations and firefighting activities can migrate through soil, posing potential threats to surface and ground waters.
Even though the health impacts of PFAS are not fully known, some studies show that two chemicals in the PFAS family, PFOA and PFOS, could negatively impact health.
“Right now, we just don’t know if these chemicals have a widespread presence in Ohio’s water supply or not,” Governor DeWine said. “This is important for both the protection of our natural resources and for public health.”
Governor DeWine asked the Ohio EPA and ODH to develop an action plan by Dec. 1 to test public and private water systems that are near known sources of PFAS, such as firefighter training sites and manufacturing facilities.
As part of the plan, the agencies will also develop a strategy to work with communities and private well owners on response measures if high levels of PFAS are found.