Gov. Wolf says state is working to address toxic chemicals in drinking water

 

"Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental right of every Pennsylvanian," Governor Tom Wolf said in Horsham, Montgomery County.

Wolf was highlighting a municipal water filtration system installed a few years ago. It removes toxic chemicals known as PFAS from drinking water.

Linked to a variety of cancers and stemming from firefighting foam, Horsham had the nation's highest levels ever found in drinking water.

The EPA set standards at 70 parts per trillion.

Wolf said he started testing statewide in June and hopes to have state standards set next year.

"You want to do this right, you want it science-based," he said.

But Deputy Director of the Delaware River Keepers Network Tracey Carluccio says the state is acting too slowly. Eight states already have standards. Neighboring New Jersey is one of the strictest at 14 PPT.

Last winter Carluccio said even a trace of the chemical is dangerous.

"Unless we are getting this stuff out of our drinking water, people are at risk of developing dangerous diseases. We can't wait another day," Carluccio said.

A 1986 tire fire in West Rockwell Township is a key suspect in extraordinary high levels found on a street just off Old Bethlehem Pike.

"Are you in fear of your health because of the water?" WFMZ's Bo Koltnow asked long time homeowner Greg Goodwin.

"Yes. Almost every day," he said.

Neighbors Goodwin and Sandy Moyer say for the past several years, the DEP has given them bottled water due to the dangers of tap water.

Sandy suspects the polluted water she and her husband drank for years gave them cancer.

"The answer is public water and none of us are happy until we can get public water," she said.

Goodwin says they've been fighting to tap into the public water system but so far haven't been given a green light.

Back in Horsham, Wolf brought a multi-million dollar grant to offset filtration costs of the filtration system.

However, resident Lisa Cellini, who suspects her MS is due to drinking the water for years, says the damage is already done, new filtration system or not.