Tuesday, June 21, 2016

DEP Investigating Perfluorinate Contamination On Easton Road, Bucks County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it is investigating perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) found in exceedance of the 2016 Lifetime Health Advisory Level (HAL) established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in parts of Doylestown, Plumstead, and Buckingham townships, Bucks County, near the Cross Keys area.
“At this time, the extent and source of the contamination is not yet known. DEP is working expediently to investigate private wells in the area, remove them from service and determine a long term solution,” said Southeast Regional Director Cosmo Servidio. “It is important to reiterate that all public municipal water in the area meets the EPA Health Advisory.”
On May 19, 2016, EPA issued a Lifetime Health Advisory Level (HAL) of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for the combined concentration of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water.
As a result, Doylestown Township Municipal Authority removed its “Cross Keys” public water supply well from service after PFOS and PFOA were found to be above the EPA’s new HAL.
DEP Southeast Regional Office immediately took steps to begin a thorough investigation of the surrounding area.
Private well owners and community well owners serving highly sensitive populations, such as nursing homes and daycares, within approximately 1 mile of the impacted Cross Keys public well will be contacted to schedule water sampling for PFCs.
Bottled water will be immediately provided to any residence whose samples exceed EPA’s Health Advisory Level for PFCs.
Initial sampling results will form the foundation for further analysis of the extent of contamination in the area, potential remediation options and long-term solutions for residents.
Activities pertaining to this investigation, including sampling and any necessary bottled water distribution, are fully funded by DEP’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, DEP does not regulate private wells. Although DEP is testing for PFCs, it is recommended that all Pennsylvania residents with a private well have their well water sampled every 3 to 5 years for a variety of chemical compounds to ensure the water is safe to drink.
DEP recommends private well owners contract with a state-certified lab that conducts drinking water tests. Click Here for contact information for state-certified labs.
Should a resident desire PFC sampling separate from DEP’s investigation, it is advised to confirm with the lab before proceeding with sampling.
Not all labs are capable of performing a comprehensive evaluation, and the number of labs certified to test for PFCs is limited.
More information on the Easton Road PFC investigation will be made available on DEP’s Southeast Regional Community Resources webpage, including information sheets, sampling maps, details for public information sessions and more as it becomes available.


  1. Isn't Cross Keys pretty close to Doylestown Airport? Is that likely to be the source of the PFC contamination?

    1. It is possible, but hard to say for certain this early. The airport could be a source; however, because of their properties, PFCs are used in other industries as well. Teflon, GoreTex and Stainmaster are everyday examples of materials containing PFCs (or PFASs as they are more widely being called). I called the PADEP to discuss this issue and they indicating they are also investigating current and historical commercial/industrial activities in the area to determine if any other processes may be the source. This first round of sampling being undertaken by PADEP will be telling. I just hope it is not in my well.


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