The number of New Jersey water systems where toxic PFAS chemicals were found surged by more than 11 times over the past year, largely because of a new requirement that utilities report one of the chemicals that is now regulated by the state, according to data released by an environmental nonprofit on Tuesday.
The Environmental Working Group said there were 517 water systems, most of them small, where some of the chemicals were found in tap water or untreated ground water. Of the total, 470 were not reported the last time EWG gathered the data in February and March of this year.
At that point, only 47 systems reported having found PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals. Since then, more systems have been reporting the presence of PFNA (perfluorononanoic acid), the first of the chemicals to be subject to an enforceable state limit.
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