Welcome back to Talking PFAS podcast, and if you are joining us for the first time, a very big welcome. I encourage you to listen to previous episodes. I am a journalist and your host Kayleen Bell. This is the last episode of Season 5. I will be taking a publishing break until the end of March, as I conduct some more interviews. Before I introduce today’s guest, I have some news. I am very pleased to announce that a collection of my PFAS interviews is now available as an oral history collection in the QLD State Library. I will put a link to that collection in the show notes.
Today’s guest is the second last guest from the 2022 International Clean Up Conference posted by CRC Care, held in Adelaide, South Australia. I have one more interview from Germany and that will go up in the break.
My guest today is Dr Scott Coffin, a Research Scientist, with the California State Water Resources Control Board. This is the Agency in California that governs the drinking water and all other water resources. What I think was significant about this discussion with Scott was that from his position working for the California State Water Resources Control Board he was willing to share openly about PFAS and California’s water issues. Here is a little of what he said:
“So California has a legal mandate to ensure all of the data that we collect on the environment is transparent and accessible to the public. It is a law since 2015, the Open Water Data Act and this means that any consumer in California, or anyone living in California, can find out what is in their drinking water, if they have PFAS monitored, even if it is unregulated which it often is they can find that information.” (Dr Scott Coffin)
Since commencing this podcast in 2018 I have not found that same level of openness or willingness in Australia from water providers to talk about PFAS. I believe it is time that the Australian water providers, those people tasked with providing safe drinking water to the public, actually become more transparent about what is in the public’s water. And in particular advise whether PFAS or other contaminants are present.
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode and a very big thank you for listening. If you enjoy the Talking PFAS podcast I encourage you to please share with colleagues, friends, associates and get the word out about this podcast. I love receiving the emails from listeners telling me how much you enjoy the podcast.
LINKS mentioned in today’s podcast episode:
Collection of PFAS Interviews as Oral history QLD State Library – by Kayleen Bell, journalist
Dr Scott Coffin Research Scientist III (Chemical Sciences) Microplastics Monitoring Subcommittee Co-Chair Division of Drinking Water.
The paper that my guest Dr Scott Coffin mentioned about machine learning and PFAS – titled
“A machine learning approach for prioritising groundwater testing for per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).” Science Direct Journal of Environmental Management Volume 295, 1 October 2021. Sarabeth George & Atray Dixit.
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