Benner Township residents get update on PFAS investigation

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– Benner Township residents were able to get their questions answered at Monday’s meeting about the PFAS water investigation. The meeting had multiple representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection explain the details.

In 2019, the DEP discovered PFAS contamination within the drinking water of multiple businesses in Benner Township. PFAS (per-and-poly fluoroalkyl substances) are commonly found in household and industrial products such as fabric protectors and food packaging.

Prior to the meeting, the township did not know much about the investigation or the extent of what was being done. Chairman and Supervisor of Benner Township Randy Moyer said that the community now realizes that there is more work than they had thought.

“They have to have their questions answered. I don’t know how quickly they’ll be answered,” Moyer said. “They don’t know timeframes. They don’t know what they can regulate, what they can’t regulate. You have a couple of different entities involved. No one’s really sure who’s in charge.”

So far, the DEP has collected samples along High Tech Road and Fox Hill Road. The primary goal of DEP’s investigation is to determine where the contamination originated from and see any potential impacts to residents, specifically those utilizing groundwater from private wells for consumptive purposes.

Folks came into the meeting with loads of questions for the representative. For the most part, the representative was only able to give mostly a basic understanding of what was going on. After the presentation, the representatives gave out their contact information for further questions.

“Hopefully it answer a lot of people’s questions that they’ve asked us,” Moyer said. “Until tonight, we really didn’t know where to look for answers. So now we’ve given them an avenue for information.”

The next investigation phase involves verifying sources, developing installation plans, and collecting more soil samples, particularly near University Park Airport. Moyer says the main thing the community should understand is that something is being done.

“The basic thing is that it’s a very unregulated area that they’re going into,” Moyer said. “So we’re going learn as they educate us.”

The DEP has no timeframe for how long the investigation will be or any potential mitigation activities.

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