Environment & Energy Report

Burning Fluorinated Chemicals May Move Water Problem Into Air

May 1, 2019, 10:01 AM

Almost three years after the EPA warned the public about two ubiquitous fluorinated chemicals present in drinking water nationwide, regulators are still grappling with how to dispose of the substances before they end up in wells and waterways.

One option is incineration, which 3M Co., the state of Vermont, and the Pentagon have used. But no one knows for sure if it is safe to burn poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, a family of thousands of heat- and water-resistant chemicals known as PFAS.

“I worry about the life cycle,” David Ross, the assistant administrator for water at...

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