PFAS on Tribal Lands: Part 2
From ITEP Team
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This presentation was delivered as part of the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum: Virtual Gathering in August 2021 by Erika Wilson with the US EPA, Heather Forth with Abt Associates, Troy Techlin with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, and Daniel Kusnierz with the Penobscot Indian Nation.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging contaminants that are being found with alarming frequency in drinking water and other environmental media around the country. A growing body of evidence shows that PFAS can pose risks to human health and the environment. However, regulatory standards to address risks related to PFAS exposure are lagging. As Tribes encounter PFAS, the uncertain regulatory landscape and rapidly evolving science present challenges with regards to how best to protect their communities from PFAS contamination. In this session we will provide a brief overview of PFAS followed by a panel of Tribal presenters who will share their respective experiences dealing with the emerging issue of PFAS contamination on Tribal lands. Presenters include Troy Techlin (Saginaw Chippewa Tribe), who will present on their experience working with the state to address the numerous PFAS contamination issues being identified within their communities including groundwater, surface water, fish, and game PFAS contamination; Daniel Kusnierz (Penobscot Indian Nation), who will present on collaborative work they have done with EPA and ATSDR characterizing PFAS contamination in anadromous fish returning to the Penobscot River; Page Hingst (Santee Sioux Nation), who will talk further about the Tribal PFAS Workgroup and including their goals and objectives and what support they can provide to Tribes dealing with PFAS issues. The purpose of this session is to share ideas, experiences, and approaches for dealing with PFAS contamination and to build a network that can support Tribes in addressing PFAS contamination on their lands. This is Part 2 of a two part session.