New analysis finds sites owned by Waste Management and others could be discharging PFAS


New analysis from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) argues that a number of landfills and other waste sites could be discharging toxic “forever chemicals” into the air and water. The environmental advocacy organization looked at more than 2,500 industrial facilities across the country as part of its research on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Included in the more than 30 sites listed by the group are facilities operated by Waste Management, Republic Services, Clean Harbors, Veolia North America, US Ecology and Illinois-based Peoria Disposal Co. (PDC), among others. “We disagree with any suggestion in the report that the Waste Management landfills present any threat to public health or the environment,” Janette Micelli, a spokesperson for the company, told Waste Dive.

The report’s findings are only “suspected” and do not firmly establish those facilities as confirmed sources of PFAS. EWG asserts a lack of oversight and mandated testing by the U.S. EPA has limited available data on PFAS sources. Lawmakers supportive of regulating PFAS argued in a call last week that the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of public health, potentially generating more oversight from Congress.

Waste Dive, 17 April 2020