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.