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CUC submits water lab results to federal court

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THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp., in a status report filed in federal court, stated that the laboratory results for two wells — IF 108 and IF 22 — showed that perfluorooctane sulfonate or PFOS was at 25 parts per trillion while perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA was a non-defect.

The two wells were shut down by CUC as ordered by District Court for the NMI designated Judge David O. Carter during the last status conference in January 2020.

The counsel for CUC, Assistant Attorney General Jose P. Mafnas Jr., sent a letter to Judge Carter and AG Edward Manibusan detailing the lab results.

“As the court is aware,” Mafnas said, “CUC drew samples from the As Terlaje tank on Feb. 4, 2020. The samples were shipped to California for testing and were received on Feb.7, 2020.”

He said the result was received at 12:21 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2020 by Heidi Yelin, CUC’s laboratory manager.

A health advisory issued on Jan. 8, 2020 stated that CUC had detected levels of two contaminants: perfluorooctane sulfonate or PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA that exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

The affected areas included the Chalan Laulau, Iliying, Chalan Kiya, As Terlaje, Kannat Tabla, Fina Sisu, Oleai, and parts of southern Garapan, Gualo Rai, Susupe, As Lito, and As Perdido.

Citing the presence of contaminants PFOS and PFOA in their water wells, the attorneys general of Guam and the CNMI have filed separate lawsuits against the manufacturers of fire extinguishers that contained the chemicals founds in the islands’ water wells.

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