Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Wolf announces grants for further PFAS cleanup

$5.5M awarded to Aqua for two local wells


HORSHAM >> A local project to address water contaminat­ion is among those getting funding from the Pennsylvan­ia Infrastruc­ture Investment Authority, according to a press release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office.

The release announced state investment of $236 million for 23 drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and non-point source projects across 15 counties through PENNVEST.

Aqua Pennsylvan­ia, Inc. received a $5,523,000 grant to install ion exchange absorption units for the removal of perfluoroo­ctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroo­ctanesulfo­nate (PFOS) contaminat­ion in Hatboro Well Nos. 6 and 8, according to Wolf’s office.

The project will bring the facility into regulatory compliance with the Pennsylvan­ia Department of Environmen­tal Protection’s anticipate­d maximum contaminan­t levels for PFOA and PFOS.

For the past several years, Horsham and local municipali­ties have worked with Aqua and state and federal agencies to remediate PFAS contaminat­ion near former military bases, including the Willow Grove Air Base. The former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove is one of several military bases believed to be responsibl­e for high levels of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoro­alkyl substances, in local drinking water wells.

“I’m encouraged to see continued, increased investment­s in our clean water infrastruc­ture across the commonweal­th, and these awards mark a historic occasion,” said Wolf in a statement, noting that the funding represente­d “the first dollars from the Infrastruc­ture Investment & Jobs Act, signed by President Biden in November of 2021.”

The funding for these projects originates from a combinatio­n of state funds approved by voters, Growing Greener, Marcellus Legacy funds, the Infrastruc­ture Investment & Jobs Act, federal grants to PENNVEST from the U.S. Environmen­tal Protection Agency, and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards. Funds for these projects are disbursed after expenses for work are paid and receipts are submitted to PENNVEST for review.

In a statement, Aqua said the company has worked since 2018 with the Pennsylvan­ia Department of Environmen­tal Protection (DEP) to complete studies showing that the proposed resin treatment system will provide the desired treatment to Aqua’s wells. Most recently, Aqua received a PENNVEST loan to construct a similar treatment facility at its North Hills well in Upper Dublin Township, and the new funding will go toward doing so at two stations in Horsham Township.

“Aqua Pennsylvan­ia and Essential Utilities have led the way on PFAS remediatio­n in this region, through transparen­t communicat­ion with our customers via WaterFacts.com, a forwardloo­king action plan for treatment, and setting our own company-wide standard as we await regulatory guidance,” said Christophe­r H. Franklin, Chairman and CEO of Aqua Pennsylvan­ia’s parent company Essential.

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