DEQ Releases PFAS Surface Water Monitoring Report
Submitted by Kevin Stone
On October 11, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) published a report on recent monitoring results for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in surface water. DEQ and the state of Montana recognize PFAS as emerging contaminants of concern, and a working group of state and local agencies completed the Montana PFAS Action Plan in June of 2020 to proactively identify and reduce or eliminate potential PFAS health risks. The “PFAS Surface Water Monitoring Project 2021 Monitoring Report” implements a portion of the Action Plan.
In 2021, DEQ implemented a limited PFAS monitoring effort to better understand whether the chemicals are present in Montana surface waters. The purpose of the monitoring was to measure the prevalence and magnitude of PFAS contamination in a small sample of locations to determine the potential scale of contamination across the state. Today’s report provides an overview of monitoring results—including selected rivers, streams and lakes in Helena, Great Falls, Billings and Bozeman.
Results of the 2021 monitoring project indicate that PFAS are moderately prevalent in some of the areas where sampling was conducted and PFAS concentrations range in magnitude depending on site location. Multiple PFAS were detected in areas of the state near or downstream of confirmed and potential sources of the contaminants. The detected PFAS are associated with the use of fire-fighting foams, food packaging, surfactants used in industrial processes, stain resistant fabrics, metal manufacturing and other uses. The monitoring data indicates that PFAS may be entering surface water from sources such as wastewater treatment plants, industrial facilities, military installations, airports and urban runoff. DEQ’s preliminary monitoring suggests that further studies will be necessary to identify and address sources of PFAS contamination.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “most people in the United States have been exposed to some PFAS.” PFAS are a group of thousands of human-made chemicals that have been used in many consumer and household products since the 1940s. PFAS are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they do not easily break down and can stay in the environment, and in our bodies, for long periods of time. To view more PFAS information from EPA, visit: https://www.epa.gov/pfas
Research is ongoing, and only a few of the thousands of PFAS have been studied for their potential to affect people’s health. Current science suggests that exposure to certain PFAS may lead to health problems including changes in the liver, immunological effects, increased cholesterol levels, cardiovascular effects, reproductive effects in women, developmental effects in infants and children, and an increased risk of kidney and testicular cancers. The EPA and other federal agencies continue to study the health effects of exposure to low levels of PFAS over long periods of time, and EPA is taking steps to address PFAS contamination across the country.
To view the report or learn more about PFAS visit: https://deq.mt.gov/cleanupandrec/Programs/pfas
Lincoln County Government and Lincoln County Library Troy Branch Announce Architect Firm Selection
Troy Library and Opportunity Center Project has teamed up with Mosiac Architecture Troy
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“Zero to Five Lincoln County is very grateful to participate in this amazing community process of designing and creating an opportunity center that will provide a wide range of engaging activities for all ages. We are especially excited to move into the architectural design phase where our collective vision will start to become reality.” Dorey Rowland, Lincoln County Zero to Five Coordinator.
Mosaic Architecture’s design philosophy is impactful design that listens to people and celebrates community.
The Mosiac team boasts seasoned architects and architecture projects dating back to 1994. They have been the architect firm for several public library spaces that both enliven and strengthen their communities over the past 25 years. Most recently, they completed the Lewis and Clark Public Library remodel project in Helena, MT.
Starting early 2023 the Mosiac design team will meet with community leaders and stakeholders in Troy and the surrounding area in order to understand TLOC’s needs and opportunities.
Mosiac is thrilled to be working with Lincoln County libraries and partners on this exciting project!
“It is truly exciting to be moving into the architecture planning phase of this project. We are excited to see what amazing spaces we can make work inside these two structures and working with a team as great as Mosiac makes it that much more exciting!” Sharee Miller, Troy Branch Librarian.
The preliminary architect report and feasibility study will be funded through a Community Block Development Planning grant from Montana Department of Commerce awarded to Lincoln County Government and Lincoln County Library in early September.
Work is set to begin in November 2022 with the initial architect report, and renderings due out in May 2023.
“We are excited to see our collective community vision for this project become reality and look forward to experiencing greater levels of connection and engagement for years to come!” Maggie Anderson, Spring Up Troy
Submitted by Sharee Miller