Drinking water standards discussed in Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Westfield is working to clear its drinking water of contaminants with the help of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP held a public hearing at the state office building in Springfield Thursday.

According to Mass.gov, the MassDEP announced its intention to initiate the process to develop a drinking water standard known as a Maximum Contaminant Level for a group of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).

Since 2017, there’s been an increasing outcry about the presence of PFAS in Westfield’s drinking water supply. It lead to the creation of a grass roots group called “Westfield Residents Advocating for themselves”.

Its co-founder, Kristen Melo, told 22News she’s happy with the regulations DEP has proposed.

“We’re pleased to see regulations come out for the public comment period. It’s a very important step for Massachusetts,” Melo said.

Westfield State Rep. John Velis added, “The people of westfield have had nothing to do with this. It’s not their fault, so I’m here today just to let everybody know, we want our fair share of whatever results from this.”

A second hearing will be Friday at the MassDEP offices in Boston at 10:00 a.m. In addition to the hearing in Springfield Thursday and Boston on Friday there will be three more hearings:

  • Tuesday, January 28 at 10:00 a.m. in Lakeville at MassDEP’s Southeast Regional Office
  • Wednesday, January 29 at 1:00 p.m. in Wilmington at MassDEP’s Northeast Regional Office
  • Friday, January 31, at 10:00 a.m. in Worcester at MassDEP’s Central Regional Office

The DEP will accept public comment on its new regulations through the end of February.

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