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CUC to conduct public hearing on contaminant removal

(CUC) — The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 21, at 6 p.m. in the CUC conference room on the third floor of the Joeten Dandan Building.

The purpose of the public hearing is to explain a proposed solution, which is the granular activated carbon filtration system that will eliminate or remove the Perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA and Perfluorooctane sulfonate or PFOS contaminants from the nine contaminated water wells at the Obyan and Isley Field. These wells are presently not in service, but the water supply would be beneficial to the system.

PFOS and PFOA are human-made substances and are not naturally found in the environment. They have been used extensively in commercial goods (carpets, clothing, furniture, paper packaging for food) and in materials that are resistant to water, grease or stains such as cookware. They are also used in firefighting foams at airfields and in a number of industrial processes. Between 2000 and 2002, PFOS was voluntarily phased out of production in the U.S. by its primary manufacturer.

While consumer products are a large source of human exposure to these chemicals, drinking water can be an additional source of exposure in communities where these chemicals have entered and contaminated water supplies. Such contamination is typically localized and associated with a specific facility, for example, an airfield at which they were used for firefighting.

EPA has established lifetime health advisories of 70 parts per trillion for combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. EPA health advisories include a margin of protection from adverse health effects when consumed at these levels over a lifetime.

The public is welcome to attend this hearing to learn more about these contaminants and CUC’s proposed plan for a GAC filtration system to control the release of these chemicals into the Saipan water system.