The Little Hocking Water Association (“Little Hocking”) is issuing this Update in our continuing efforts to keep our members apprised of developments regarding the C8 contamination of our wellfield.

 

LITTLE HOCKING’S CURRENT ACTIVITIES

Interim Water Treatment Plant Project

For more than twelve months, Little Hocking has been engaged in ongoing discussions with DuPont concerning the C8 issue, including discussions about further C8 (and related compounds) testing and water treatment (both interim and permanent). A recent West Virginia class action settlement requires DuPont to offer water treatment to certain water systems, including Little Hocking, to reduce the levels of C8 in their water supplies. DuPont has offered to reduce C8 levels in Little Hocking’s water via installation of granular activated carbon (“GAC”) filters. Little Hocking and its consultants have been diligently reviewing and evaluating the proposed interim GAC treatment and we expect to receive preliminary design drawings during the week of June 20, 2005.
Pursuit of Additional Data

Little Hocking has continued to obtain and evaluate soil, water, and blood serum data for C8 and other perfluorinated compounds. For example, C8 and other related compounds have recently been found in water supplies and in human blood in the State of Minnesota, where 3M manufactured C8 for years.


 

June 2004 Notice of Contamination

In June 2004, Little Hocking sent out a Notice of Contamination (“June 2004 Notice”) reminding our members that drinking or otherwise using water contaminated with C8 may pose health risks. Some of the health issues identified in the June 2004 Notice were: the prevalence of C8 in human blood; the persistence of C8 in the environment; and, the potential risks of testicular, breast, liver, and prostate cancer from C8 exposure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) was and still is assessing the toxicity of C-8.

At the time of the June 2004 Notice of Contamination, Little Hocking was not aware of any federal or state air or water pollution standards for C8. However, DuPont had established a “community exposure guideline” for C8 of 1 part per billion in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s and industry/governmental consultants, as part of a West Virginia agreement, reported a health protective screening level for C8 in water of 150 parts per billion in August 2002.

Water sampling results cited in the June 2004 Notice show levels of C8 in our production wells as high as 10.10 parts per billion (ppb) in production well no. 5, which has not been used to pump into the water distribution system since 2002[2]; 1.87 ppb in production well no. 3; 5.48 ppb in production well no. 2; and 5.39 ppb in production well no. 1.

January 2005 Supplemental Notice of Contamination


In January 2005, consistent with our efforts to keep our members apprised of C8 developments, we issued a Supplemental Notice of Contamination (“Supplemental Notice”). The November 2004 sampling results (collected on November 29, 2004, which Little Hocking received on January 12, 2005) showed that levels of C8 in our water supply continued to rise. Levels of C8 samples taken from Little Hocking’s production wells were as high as:
18.6 parts per billion (ppb) in production well no. 5;

3.90 ppb in production well no. 3;

9.89 ppb in production well no. 2; and

9.03 ppb in production well no.1.
The level of C8 in water entering the distribution system to our members had been measured as high as 7.2 ppb.
These sampling results showed that Little Hocking’s C8 levels were very close to, or exceeded the “safe level” for C8 developed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
In March 2005 we received the January 2005 quarterly C8 test results from the four production wells and at the entry point to the distribution system. The sampling results were posted on our website when we received them. The results from the January 2005 sampling are as follows:
6.61 parts per billion (ppb) in production well no. 5;

1.78 ppb in production well no. 3;

4.78 ppb in production well no. 2;

4.39 ppb in production well no.1; and

3.57 ppb at the entry point to the distribution system.

We expect to receive the results from the April 2005 sampling within the next couple of weeks.

Minnesota Department of Health’s “Safe Level” for C8

In November of 2002 the MDH recommended 7 parts per billion (ppb) as the “safe level” for C8. Unlike West Virginia’s CATT-established protective screening level of 150 ppb, Minnesota’s value takes into consideration exposure routes other than drinking water.
Even though Minnesota’s level is more protective than the West Virginia-established screening level, Minnesota’s value does not specifically address higher exposures during childhood. The MDH is proposing changes to the methodology they use to derive “safe levels” in part to address higher intakes in children. Also, a significant amount of toxicological information has also been generated since 2002. As a result, Minnesota’s “safe level” is likely to drop below 7 ppb.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Draft Risk Assessment for C8

On January 12, 2005, EPA released its Draft Risk Assessment of the Potential Human Health Effects Associated with Exposure to Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Its Salts [C8] (“Draft Risk Assessment”). While the Draft Risk Assessment does not establish a safe level for C8, at least one organization – the Environmental Working Group (“EWG”) – has taken the position that the Draft Risk Assessment dramatically underestimates human health risks associated with C8 exposure. The EPA Science Advisory Board (“SAB”) is currently in the process of reviewing and commenting on the scientific soundness of the Draft Risk Assessment.

DuPont’s Worker Study

On January 11, 2005, DuPont announced results of a health study it conducted of more than 1,000 DuPont Washington Works employees. In the study, DuPont observed an approximate 10 percent increase in “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and a rise in triglycerides among some of the highest C8-exposed individuals. DuPont’s press release states that “[t]he study data did not indicate that PFOA was or was not the cause of the increases in serum cholesterol and triglycerides.” According to the EWG website, the DuPont cholesterol finding “is the fourth in a string of studies conducted since 1994 pointing to excess risks for stroke and heart attack among workers exposed to [C8].” 

 

LITTLE HOCKING WATER COMMITMENT

Little Hocking continues to maintain its longstanding position that C8 does not belong in our drinking water. The Board of Trustees and staff of Little Hocking remain committed to obtaining complete information related to C8 and the scope of contamination (including the extent of other perfluorinated contamination). Little Hocking is also researching alternative sources of water in addition to the interim treatment option, and will continue to provide information to help our members to make more informed decisions about C8 and related compounds. Nevertheless, please be aware that, until a resolution to this problem is secured, you are drinking or otherwise using water containing C8 and that you do so knowing of possible health risks. To keep you apprised of the status of the issue, we will continue to post updated information on our website at www.littlehockingwater.org.
You can also contact us for additional information:
Little Hocking Water Association, Inc

Attn: Robert L. Griffin

3998 State Route 124

P.O. Box 188

Little Hocking, OH 45742

(740) 989-2181

Website: www.littlehockingwater.org
Please share this information with all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
Little Hocking thanks you for your patience as we work toward a resolution of this issue and we regret the inconveniences that this issue has caused.

Very Truly Yours,

Little Hocking Water Association, Inc.