Atlantic City Drinking Water Safety Standards Could Be Dangerously Lowered


Do you know what's in that glass of Atlantic City water you're about to drink? A touchy subject over the years, we're not talking about the trumped-up fear of selling the controversial MUA / AC Water Company.

New Jersey state scientists last week put forth the nation’s lowest proposed drinking water limit for the toxic chemical PFOS. Earlier this week, they started the task of defending it.

The real controversy that's getting NO local news coverage: DEP efforts to significantly lower water safety standard for the chemical, perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS. This chemical is often found near airports or military facilities that historically use firefighting foams that contain PFOS. The Atlantic City International Airport, mainly controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration, is often mentioned when referencing Atlantic City's PFOS levels in the drinking water.

The chemical is one of the most concerning unregulated chemicals across the country. These chemicals do not biodegrade. They stay in the environment for a very long time.

Even if these chemicals are detected, they may not be removed because utility operators are not required to do so. And yes, there are recognized techniques to remove such contaminants, such as activated carbon.

If the recommendation is approved, the health-based max contaminant limit would be the lowest in the country. More than 5x times lower than the health advisory level that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers to be safe over a lifetime of consumption.

New Jersey is one of the most frequently contaminated states for the chemicals. The PFOS proposal is based on studies showing negative impacts on immune systems and vaccinations. Other studies have linked perfluorinated compounds to reproductive issues and even some cancers.

The ACMUA, Atlantic City Municipal Utility Authority was one of four New Jersey water systems where PFOS was detected by an EPA, Environmental Protection Agency testing program several years ago.

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Bruce Ward, Exec Director MUA

Authority’s Executive Director since January 2014, responsible for all drinking water treatment & distribution to Atlantic City.

609-345-3315, bward@acmua.org.

The ACMUA Board of Directors invites you to their meetings, every 3rd Wed of the month at 10a. 401 N. Virginia Ave, Atlantic city.

Public participation is welcome especially during times where water safety standards could be changed.

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Garth Moyle Deputy Executive Director of Operations

Garth joined the Authority in 1991 In his current role, he's responsible for maintenance and operations of the water supply, treatment plants, transmission facilities and customer service.

609-345-3315, gmoyle@acmua.org

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MILTON L. SMITH

Smith is the Chairman of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA). He has served on the Board of Directors since February 2001.

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GARY L. HILL

In February 2010, the Board elected Hill to serve as Vice Chairman/Secretary of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA). He's been on the Board since Feb 2007.

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Rep. Frank LoBiondo

Rep. Frank LoBiondo is chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, overlooking civil aviation policy, labor, commerce, safety and security, unmanned aircraft systems, the Atlantic City International Airport.

FEEDBACK & COMMENTS:

The Christie DEP policy and response to drinking water issues is no different than the response of Flint Michigan. There are striking parallels:

1) obsession with costs over public health
2) scientific and regulatory decisions made by incompetent, untrained, and inexperienced government officials
3) denial and downplaying of the problem
4) failure to seriously listen to the public
5) forcing what should be state decisions to the local level
6) politics and anti-government ideology infecting science and regulatory policy decisions

Posted by njpeer1 on January 22, 2016

NJDEP panel defends criticisms of low PFOS level

Read More in NJ Spotlight

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