In the past week, there have been a number of inquiries to the Little Hocking Water Association office, and to the administrators of the Warren Local School District concerning the reports of ammonium perfluorooctanoate, commonly referred to as C8, in the Little Hocking Water production wells.

The Little Hocking Water Association serves five of the schools of the Warren Local School District.

In response to these calls, the Little Hocking Water Association today has issued a statement, which summarizes what the Little Hocking Water Association has done prior to and after the discovery of C8 in its wellfield.

That statement is below:

 

 

STATEMENT REGARDING C8
January 23, 2002

Beginning in October, 2001, as a result of newspaper publicity regarding a lawsuit in West Virginia, the Little Hocking Water Association, Inc. made inquiries to E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company about the C8 problem found in the Lubeck Public Service District water system. Our purpose in initiating this contact was to find a laboratory to analyze our water to see if C8 had migrated into our system from the DuPont Washington Works facility. After pursuing the issue with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), they agreed to include our wells in the C8 testing program.

The Little Hocking Water Association, Inc. recently learned as a result of testing that ammonium perfluorooctanoate, commonly referred to as C8, has been detected in our water wells. Ammonium perfluorooctanoate (C8) is an unregulated chemical used by DuPont at its Washington Works facility in Wood County, West Virginia.

As an unregulated chemical, C8 is not subject to U.S. or Ohio Environmental Protection Agency emission or discharge limits. Also, neither the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nor the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have established a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for C8. In the absence of other available information, we are forced to rely on DuPont’s expertise regarding C8 and the direction of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

According to Mr. Paul Bossert, plant manager of Dupont’s Washington Works, DuPont is confident that the low levels of C8 found in our wells are not harmful to human health or the environment. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is aware of the present situation and has not directed us to issue any advisories to our customers.

Presently, a Groundwater Investigation Steering Team (GIST), headed by the WVDEP, is in the process of evaluating the extent and level of C8 in the surface and groundwaters in the vicinity of the Washington Works plant. Furthermore, a separate team of government, industry and public health scientists headed by WVDEP is working to establish a “safe number” for human exposure to C8.

In the interim, as a precaution, the Little Hocking Water Association voluntarily took the water well that showed the highest level of C8 detection out of service indefinitely. We are actively cooperating with the WVDEP to determine how C8 found its way into our water wells. A second round of testing has been done on our wellfield where samples were taken from the production wells and several test wells. Samples were also taken at various points in our distribution system to determine the level of C8 in our finished water. In addition, our engineering firm is investigating the best method of treatment, if that becomes necessary.

Please be assured that the Little Hocking Water Association is doing its best to protect our customers and the integrity of our water supply.

There will be a special meeting of the Little Hocking Water Association members on Monday, February 11, 2002, at 7:00 PM at the Warren Local High School auditorium. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information to the association members about the presence of C8 in the wellfield. The general public is also welcome to attend.