skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

New Study Puts Price Tag on PFAS Removal from MN Water Systems

play audio
Play

Thursday, June 8, 2023   

As more research emerges about the chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, government agencies are faced with the task of figuring out how to keep the public safe.

A new Minnesota study said removing the so-called "forever chemicals" from wastewater will be very expensive. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency estimates it would cost $14 billion to $28 billion to remove PFAS from the water and biosolids leaving regional wastewater treatment facilities, over a 20-year period to implement the technology, along with operating expenses.

Scott Kyser, wastewater effluent engineer for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, led the research project and said trying to add the equipment would be a big adjustment.

"Those treatment systems are new, they're complicated, and they just take a lot of money to operate," Kyser pointed out.

The study added new types of PFAS are more difficult and up to 70% more expensive to remove and destroy, compared to older substances. Forever chemicals are found in a range of products and create serious health risks for consumers. They also can contaminate surface water, groundwater, drinking water, fish and other wildlife.

Sophie Greene, PFAS coordinator for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said given the magnitude of the cost, they hope the findings compel policymakers and manufacturers to focus on preventing the chemicals from reaching wastewater facilities in the first place.

"I think this is telling us source reduction is the most important thing right now," Greene asserted. "Installing these expensive and complicated treatment systems at all of our wastewater treatment plants is just probably not feasible."

She acknowledged it is still a major challenge in swapping out PFAS for less-harmful materials, since their use in manufacturing has been so widespread.

There has been pushback from some business groups when proposed regulations surface. Still, Greene noted there is hope in Minnesota, with the Legislature this year adopting bans on the chemicals for nonessential items.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Marine research on a recent expedition off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California mapped the habitat of red gorgonian coral, sea stars and sheepshead fish. (Danny Ocampo/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

Marine researchers just wrapped up the first of three ocean expeditions off the coast of Southern California to map the biodiversity and support effor…


Social Issues

play sound

Michigan's population has hovered around the 10 million mark for the past 20+ years, but the state's latest report outlines projections of a …

Health and Wellness

play sound

More skin cancers are diagnosed than all other cancers combined and one in five Americans will have some type of skin cancer by age 70. As outdoor …


The current lack of cohesive planning has made building new transmission lines difficult, prompting FERC's new rule. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new step from the federal government takes a step toward modernizing the process for building energy transmission lines - while also protecting wild…

Social Issues

play sound

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days. As Texas households continue to deal …

Black women are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke during pregnancy, which TaShenma Mack found out firsthand before the birth of her daughter. (Photo courtesy of TaShenma Mack)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina's maternal death rate is higher than the national average and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among new moms in th…

play sound

The effect of technical glitches in overhauling the student financial-aid form known as FAFSA is still being felt. Issues stemming from a redesign …

Social Issues

play sound

A newly passed Connecticut bill will modernize the teacher certification process. House Bill 5436 is expected to make it easier for educators to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021