- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $1 Million to Help Small Public Water Suppliers Respond to PFAS Contamination
Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs
BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today awarded more than $1 million in grants to 21 small public water suppliers to support their efforts to address elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. The grant program, managed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), is intended to pay for or reimburse long-term actions to address PFAS, such as construction of treatment systems or connection to an uncontaminated water supply. MassDEP is awarding funding to small public water suppliers who provide drinking water to fewer than 3,300 users. The grant recipients include condominium associations, schools, churches, businesses, and public buildings.
“PFAS poses a significant threat to public health and the environment, and our communities have been working extremely hard to keep our drinking water safe from these toxic chemicals,” said Governor Maura Healey. “This grant funding will help our small public water suppliers by providing the financial support needed to put the right treatment systems in place so all residents can access clean water.”
“Our administration is committed to helping small, under-resourced communities protect critical water resources, and this grant program will provide needed funds to assist with long-term measures that must be taken to provide safe drinking water,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “As public water suppliers across the Commonwealth work to address PFAS, our administration is committed to supporting these efforts and ensuring that all drinking water throughout Massachusetts is safe, clean and healthy.”
PFAS chemicals are a family of chemicals widely used since the 1950s to manufacture common consumer products and used in some legacy fire-fighting foams. Drinking water may become contaminated if PFAS deposited onto the soil seeps into groundwater or surface water. PFAS have been linked to a variety of health risks, particularly in women who are pregnant or nursing, and in infants. In October of 2020, MassDEP finalized a protective standard of 20 parts-per-trillion (ppt) for PFAS in drinking water, as well as cleanup standards for soil and groundwater.
“Removing PFAS from our drinking water is one of the great environmental challenges of our time,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “Providing this funding helps to build on the aggressive action we are taking in Massachusetts to protect the public and the environment from the harmful impacts of PFAS. Working closely with communities dealing with PFAS is essential to eliminating these contaminants, and these grants will help the impacted entities respond immediately to PFAS contamination by providing safe drinking water."
“PFAS is pervasive in the environment today and it can significantly impact small public water suppliers that may lack the resources needed to fully mitigate the contamination in their drinking water systems. These grants provide smaller systems with that assistance,” said MassDEP Commissioner Bonnie Heiple. “Massachusetts leads the nation in science-based investigations of PFAS contaminants, and as we learn more about the impacts PFAS has on human health, we will continue to partner with communities on the front lines of this effort to provide the assistance they need and ensure that the water they provide is safe to consume.”
All community public water systems are required to test for “PFAS6” (the sum of six PFAS substances). If found above the state standard, water systems are required to eliminate or minimize the threat to public health by turning off a contaminated water source, connecting to a neighboring water supply, or taking other steps to ensure that clean drinking water is available to all system users.
The following small public water supply systems have been awarded PFAS grants:
Carriage House Condominiums, Boxborough – $63,126
The grant is a reimbursement for expenses related to the 2021 installation of a PFAS filtration system, including design, engineering, and construction costs.
Codman Hill Condominiums, Boxborough – $108,754
The grant will help with the design and permitting of a PFAS treatment system to add to the existing treatment system for their drinking water well.
United Church of Christ, Boxborough – $16,299
The grant will reimburse the applicant for a treatment system that was installed last year.
Waterview Mobile Home Park, Carver – $89,425
The grant supports completion of the installation of a granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment system in a community of elderly and disadvantaged residents.
Golden Eagle Restaurant, Clarksburg – $50,000
The grant will be utilized for testing and installation of a new drinking water well on the property.
South Grafton Water District, Grafton – $50,000
The grant will support the design of a long-term PFAS treatment system.
28 Hastings Street Corp., Mendon – $50,000
The grant will support the design, permitting and construction of a PFAS treatment system.
Henry P. Clough School, Mendon – $31,555
The grant is a reimbursement for the design, permitting and installation of a PFAS treatment system that went online last year.
Miscoe Hill Middle School, Mendon – $50,000
The grant is a reimbursement for the design, purchase, and installation of a PFAS treatment system, adding GAC filtration to the existing drinking water treatment system.
Ardor Crossfit and Fitness, Monson – $39,669
The grant will help with the design, permitting and installation of a PFAS treatment system.
Swift River Elementary School, New Salem – $100,000
The grant will assist with the design, permitting and installation of a PFAS treatment system using anion exchange resin to add to the applicant’s existing drinking water treatment system.
Hopping Ahead Brewery, Northfield – $38,079
The grant will reimburse for the design, engineering, and installation of a PFAS treatment system.
Petersham Town Hall, Petersham – $35,000
The grant will support the design, permitting and construction of a PFAS treatment system.
Phillipston Memorial Building, Phillipston – $50,000
The grant will help with the design, permitting and construction of a PFAS treatment system with anion exchange vessels to add to the existing drinking water treatment system.
New Testament Church of Cedarville, Plymouth – $50,000
The grant will help add PFAS treatment using granular activated carbon (GAC) to their existing drinking water treatment system.
Princeton Town Campus and First Congregational Church of Princeton – $48,660
The grant will help with installation of a Point-of-Entry (POET) treatment system at the Town Hall Campus. A similar system is being installed at the church.
Pilot Grove Apartments, Stow – $21,925
The grant will fund the addition of a new PFAS treatment system with anion exchange vessels, added to the existing drinking water treatment system, which serves 134 residential users.
Pilot Grove Apartments II, Stow – $21,925
The grant will fund the addition of a new PFAS treatment system with anion exchange vessels, added to the existing drinking water treatment system, which serves 175 residential users.
Sutton Public Schools, Sutton – $48,466
The grant will help with the purchase and installation of a PFAS treatment system and associated engineering services.
River Crossing Condominiums, Tyngsboro – $17,417
The grant will be a reimbursement for the design and engineering of a treatment system that was developed due to PFAS6 levels over 20 ppt.
Maynard State, LLC, Westport – $69,700
The grant will help with the design and installation of a PFAS treatment system.
“I am heartened to see schools, businesses, and municipal buildings in our district receive PFAS remediation grants. Constituents gather at these places, drink the water, and I will breathe easier knowing these funds are in place to address concerning levels of PFAS,” said State Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). “My sincere thanks to MassDEP for confronting the PFAS challenge head on. Count me in as a partner now and in the days ahead.”
“I am thankful to MassDEP for providing this critical grant funding. The high prevalence of PFAS in our environment and their serious repercussions to human health, including the risk of increased cholesterol levels, changes in liver enzymes, decreased infant birth weights, decreased vaccine response in children, and increased risk cancer, makes helping my constituents minimize their exposure to these chemicals a top priority,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough). “I am pleased that more of my Boxborough and Stow constituents will have access to PFAS filtration and treatment systems for their drinking water as we continue to work towards healthier communities throughout the Commonwealth.”
“With these grants, hundreds of Stow residents can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their drinking water supply will be monitored and treated over the long-term to reduce PFAS contamination,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan (D-Stow). “In distributing these funds, we appreciate MassDEP's commitment to environmental justice and to giving priority consideration to the small PWSs that serve affordable housing, like those at the Pilot Grove apartments for seniors and families in Stow.”
“The grant funds supporting New Salem and Petersham are indispensable to addressing the challenges PFAS poses to our drinking water systems,” said State Representative Aaron Saunders (D-Belchertown). “I want to thank Commissioner Heiple, Secretary Tepper, and Governor Healey for their continued recognition of the challenges our small and rural communities face. I look forward to our continued work together to ensure the availability of clean drinking water for all of our residents.”
To help ensure the safety of drinking water around the Commonwealth, $28.4 million was secured in two recent supplemental budgets for water infrastructure and PFAS testing. Through the supplemental budget, $20 million was appropriated to the Commonwealth’s Clean Water Trust, providing financing that can be used by communities to address contamination issues. $8.4 million of the funding supported a statewide sampling program for public water supplies and private wells.
Conducting statewide testing of drinking water for PFAS provided the data to support MassDEP’s strategy for treatment and mitigation of this emerging contaminant. This additional $1.05 million in state funds will further address the needs of small public water systems with PFAS6 concentrations exceeding MassDEP’s drinking water Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). These systems are required to eliminate or minimize the threat to public health by providing treatment, connecting to a neighboring water supply, or taking other steps to ensure that clean drinking water is available to all system users.
For more information on PFAS remediation and funding, turn here.