The Town is performing an island-wide assessment of PFAS inclusive of wastewater treatment plant residuals and landfill operations. In August 2020 the Town hired CDM Smith, an environmental consultant, and is evaluating potential municipal sources contributing to PFAS contamination. The CDM Smith team brings the experience of a large engineering consulting firm with a team of recognized PFAS experts and local staff to assist in this evaluation. The PFAS evaluation and the information gathered will help identify the steps and future actions needed to meet regulatory requirements and guidelines.

The PFAS Preliminary Assessment and Planning Approach Report is available here.  This report was revised on March 16, 2021 (original dated February 4, 2021) to address an error in Table 6-1 and now includes an errata sheet at the end of the report. A five-page fact sheet that summarizes the report can be found here.

September 2023: 

How Can I Test My Private Well for PFAS?  

  • Currently, there are three U.S. EPA testing methodologies for testing drinking water for PFAS. Laboratories will analyze drinking water for PFAS using either USEPA Method 537, 537.1, or 533. These methods test for multiple PFAS compounds, including the PFAS6 compounds that are part of the current MassDEP Drinking Water Standard.  
  • Use the Online Searchable Laboratory Certification Listing (Search for Analyte = PFAS and Matrix = Potable (Drinking Water) to find laboratories that have been certified by MassDEP to test for PFAS in drinking water. Note: Due to high volume  a number of the labs listed are no longer accepting individual homeowner samples.
  • Based on a recent phone survey the following three labs are accepting individual Private Well Samples: Eurofins Eaton Analytical, LLC/ SGS/ GEL Laboratories LLC 
  • If you have any questions about finding a certified lab to perform sampling please contact please contact MassDEP: John Handrahan, Angela Gallagher, Navpret Brolowski @ 508-946-2700.

August/September 2023: MassDEP launches PFAS Sampling of Private Wells 

As a follow-up to the Private Wells PFAS Sampling Program that was conducted in March 2023 , MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup has launched additional sampling of private wells on the Island. MassDEP will be conducting PFAS testing for a limited number of private wells and will be contacting those private well owners who have been selected. MassDEP will arrange to take the samples and will submit to a certified lab for analysis.

After receiving the sampling results from a Massachusetts certified laboratory, MassDEP may send the results to the private well owner with a cover letter including recommended actions. If you have any questions concerning this sampling event or have additional follow-up questions please contact MassDEP: John Handrahan, Deputy Regional Director (, Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup, MassDEP, Southeast Regional Office, (508) 767-2803. The Town will post any additional information concerning this MassDEP initiative as it becomes available.

Helpful links

August 2023:
Nantucket Health & Fire Department work to address contractors hazardous material release (PFAS/ AFFF) at NFD

Representatives from Nantucket Health and Fire Department and ACV Environmental Services (responsible for December 2022 PFAS/AFFF) release) met with representatives from MassDEP – Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) to respond to MassDEP’s “NOTICE OF AUDIT/ REQUEST FOR SITE INSPECTION” concerning “Release Tracking Number: 4-0029633” for the PFAS/AFFF release at 4 Fairgrounds Road, Nantucket MA. MassDEP’s is tasked with ensuring the cleanup of oil and hazardous material (OHM) under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) (310CMR 40.000 et seq). MassDEP completed their audit and will submit a report with their Audit Findings to AVC Environmental and their Licensed Site Professional (LSP) and the Town of Nantucket. Findings of the audit will be posted on this site. Please see these links for: the Notice of Responsibility and the Notice of Audit from MassDEP- BWSC.  

June 2023: 

Private Well testing for PFAS recommended for adoption by Nantucket Health Department

Nantucket Health Department is leading the way for Boards of Health across the Commonwealth by incorporating the most stringent PFAS Testing requirement in the state into its new Private Wells Regulations; Chapter 386. 
In September 2023, the Nantucket Board of Health will be adopting updated Board of Health Regulations for Private Wells, Chapter 386. The Board of Health Staff worked with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Drinking Water Program to update their existing municipal regulation governing private wells. During this regulatory review the Health Department incorporated language from the “public comment period,” the MassDEP Drinking Water Program Model Board of Health Regulations for Private Wells (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), and the MassDEP Private Well Guidelines. This updated regulation will be used by the BOH to regulate private wells used for drinking water and irrigation purposes. The new draft regulation includes private well testing for specific Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as recommended by MassDEP, EPA and the MA Department of Public Health.
The addition of the PFAS testing requirement includes PFAS testing during transfer of property with private wells and with new well permits. The updated regulations took into consideration the private well recommendations made by the Massachusetts PFAS Interagency Task Force in the report titled PFAS in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Final Report of the PFAS Interagency Task Force. The updated regulations will be adopted by the Nantucket Board of Health, pursuant to its authority under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 111, section 31.

  1. Michael Maynard

    Environmental Contamination Administrator