On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, the PFAS Interagency Task Force held their fourth meeting to discuss “Municipal Matters and Local Action.” The meeting included presentations by the Towns of Barnstable, Stow, Ayer, Wayland, Easton, the Acton Water District, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority and Massachusetts Water Works.
A common thread in each of the presentations, was the insurmountable work that a public water supplier takes on when dealing with an exceedance of the Department of Environmental Protection’s amendment to the Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations, that established a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 0.000020 milligrams per liter (mg/l) or 20 ng/l (also called parts per trillion or ppt) for the sum of six PFAS compounds (PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, PFNA, PFHpA and PFDA), known as PFAS6. Each of the presenters discussed the challenges they have experienced firsthand in PFAS6 regarding community outreach, education, regulation, remediation, and funding.
At the meeting Ayer, Public Works Superintendent Mark Wetzel said, “One of the biggest challenges was sending out those public notifications advising residents of wells over the state's maximum contamination level of 20 parts per trillion.”
"The challenges that we have here are that we receive phone calls, inquiries from a number of residents, asking about PFAS, the response, and what can be done," said Stow Town Administrator Denise Dembkoski.
Public water suppliers need a team of experienced professionals that can provide them with the critical support that they need for risk communications and plausible solutions to grant funding opportunities. At Capital Strategic Solutions (CSS), we understand that these situations are temporary situations that can quickly overwhelm the staff and the resources of any size department or agency. CSS offers the support that is needed, when it is needed by professional that have the experience to take on critical tasks, including:
Risk Communications & Public Engagement Plans
Website Development and Content Management
Operation of Water Quality Hotlines
Creating Community Presentations, Videos, Fact Sheets & Newsletters
Providing Time-Sensitive Updates through Email Blasts
Social Media Management
CSS offers public water suppliers a wide range of services to help manage and administer grant funds and projects including: assistance in applying for and managing project approval through ARPA, EPA and DEP, assistance with reimbursement requests and general administrative assistance for all aspects of the projects.
Assisting with Grant Funding Opportunities
Research funding opportunities
Verify eligibility requirements to ensure compliance and gather all applicable data, financial records, etc..
Assemble grant application, develop a compelling grant narrative
Submitting the proposal
Grant award management, ensuring compliance with grant award instructions
Collection of grant-related materials including receipts, reports, etc.
Grant closeout process
General administrative assistance
“I am proud of the community outreach that we provide to the Town of Easton. Operating the water quality hotline has allowed us to support their team, freeing them up to focus on the removal of PFAS6 from Easton’s drinking water as well as regular day-to-day activities. Having worked in municipal government, with a background in public works and utilities, our team understands the support that public water suppliers need when a challenging situation arises,” said Nichol Figueiredo, CEO of Capital Strategic Solutions.
The diversity of water distribution systems means there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to PFAS. Similarly, the diversity of each community requires a unique approach to communications regarding sensitive water quality issues. Trust and transparency are just as critical as the quality of water and the consistency of their service to a public water supplier. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-690-0046.