New Jersey is the first state to adopt a rule that sets a maximum contaminant level in drinking water for the hazardous chemical compound PFNA and requires all water companies to test for it.
Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna says the testing is mandatory starting in January and water companies will have to install a filtration system to remove PFNA if levels exceed 13 parts per trillion.
“PFNA to the best of our knowledge is primary focused in a regional area of the state along the Delaware River where there was some past industrial uses. About a dozen or systems have been impacted and they’ve taken steps in the past to address this.”
New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel says the new rule is significant.
“By setting the standard and requiring all the water companies to be testing for it, we may find other areas of the state where people have been drinking water contaminated with this product for a long time and now they’ll have to take action too.”
Tittel says PFNA can cause liver and immune system problems and affect the growth of children and unborn babies.
The Department of Environmental Protection is working on establishing standards for other chemical compounds that may be more prevalent in drinking water.