You asked, we answered!
This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) documents the answers for community questions about Nantucket’s Town-wide per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) assessment program activities and public health. This information was updated March 25, 2021.
With the assistance of CDM Smith, the Town prepared a The PFAS Preliminary Assessment and Planning Approach Report, copy available here. This report was revised on March 16, 2021 (original dated February 4, 2021) to address an error in Table 6-1 and now includes an errata sheet at the end of the report. A five-page fact sheet that summarizes the report can be found here.
Our PFAS FAQs are organized as follows:
- 1. What are PFAS chemicals?
- 2. Where can PFAS be found?
- 3. Are there references that provide levels of PFAS measured in everyday products?
- 4. Why is Nantucket concerned about PFAS?
- 5. How can I help decrease PFAS pollution on the Island?
- 6. I live near the Airport. Where can I find information for the PFAS testing there?
- 7. Are there public drinking water standards concerning PFAS?
- 8. Does MassDEP have a program to support private (domestic) well testing?
- 9. Does the aquifer that the Island gets groundwater from have PFAS in it?
- 10. Can I hook up to public water? If Yes, how?
- 11. Are septic systems or private wastewater treatment within a Zone II aquifer wellhead protection area regulated for PFAS? If so, how?
- 12. Who is available to perform PFAS Sampling & Testing?
- 13. Can PFAS drinking water or soil standards be applied to leachate or co-compost?
- 14. Are private (domestic) wells located below (downgradient of) the landfill impacted by PFAS?
- 15. Is there a plan to collect PFAS samples from the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) and landfill site?
- 16. Did Waste Options perform PFAS testing at the landfill in the summer of 2019?
- 17. Even though 2019 PFAS testing was done with an imperfect method at the time (EPA 537), were the results found concerning?
- 18. Why did it take a year for PFAS testing to be discussed by BoH and for action to be taken?
- 19. Is there a plan to collect PFAS samples from the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) and landfill site?
- 20. What can residents, businesses, and visitors can do to prevent exposure to PFAS?
- 21. Should I stop growing and eating vegetables using co-compost that may have PFAS?
- 22. Can I water my plants and garden with PFAS-contaminated water and eat that produce?
- 23. How can I limit my exposure to PFAS in my garden?
- 24. What are the PFAS levels in fertilizer and other soil products coming onto the Island?
- 25. Waste Options Nantucket makes products for beneficial re-use. What are they?
- 26. Is it safe to shower using domestic well water that contains PFAS?
- 27. Is it safe for me to bathe my baby using domestic (private) well water that contains PFAS?
- 28. What can I do as a private well owner to remove PFAS from my water?
- 29. Am I at risk if I drink or drank water with PFAS above health standards?
- 30. Is there a way to test my or my family’s blood serum levels for PFAS?