Kudos to the Baker-Polito Administration for getting $3 million in state aid to 17 communities struggling to figure out what to do about the detection in their public water supplies of the "forever chemicals" known as PFAS at concentrations higher than what DEP has determined to be "protective".   

Massachusetts was one of the first states in the union to set "protective" levels.  The Federal Government and most States still have not done so.  Of course $3 million is a tiny fraction of what will be necessary to treat drinking water in these communities and the countless others that have not yet determined that they are in the same boat.  In the meantime tens of thousands of residents of the Commonwealth have come to fear their drinking water.  Many of those who can afford to do so are now buying bottled water. More will continue to live in fear of this basic necessity for the months if not years it will take to design and implement the additional treatment to reduce what are already infinitesimally minute concentrations of these "forever chemicals" in their public water supplies to less than the levels that DEP has determined to be protective. 

That's why DEP Commissioner Suuberg is spot on in recognizing that we're still learning about the human health effects of PFAS.  Premature suggestions that we know more than we do about actual risk will increase panic in the affected communities.

In addition to providing these necessary financial resources, DEP should speak to the public about what we do, and don't, know about PFAS, including whether or not it is safe to drink the water in these communities.  And the Federal Government needs to accelerate the pace of its effort to assess the human health and ecological risks of these "forever chemicals" which are proving to be far more ubiquitous than we may have hoped.