Forever chemicals found in Eastern Shore waterways

Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta collects water samples from La Trappe Creek in 2021 that were included in a study on PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination in U.S. surface waters and showed concerning levels of the manmade “forever chemicals.”

GALENA — ShoreRivers’ Riverkeepers are calling for increased testing by the state after the results of a recently released study on PFAS contamination in U.S. surface waters showed concerning levels of the “forever chemical” in some Eastern Shore waterways. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are man made chemicals that persist in the environment and can be highly toxic with continued exposure.

The study, conducted by Waterkeeper Alliance, assessed PFAS levels in 114 watersheds around the country, including 16 within the Chesapeake Bay region. Maryland had the highest total number of detections and the highest number of different PFAS compounds detected in waterways nationwide. La Trappe Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River, had the second highest number of detections in the state for three of the five most prevalent compounds.

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