Solid Waste

Town of Nantucket’s vendor Waste Options Nantucket (WON) under a co-permit with Town is required by MasssDEP to take actions regarding PFAS starting this fiscal year.  The actions include:

  • Selection of a testing lab qualified/certified to test PFAS.
  • Begin quarterly sampling and testing for PFAS of our final compost product.
  • WON sampled the final compost product on 10-28-2020 for the first time under our new Approval of Suitability (AOS) permit agreement with DEP.  Results are pending and will be shared with MassDEP.

At this time, no standard currently exists for PFAS levels in final compost material.  MassDEP indicated that they will be tracking the accumulated PFAS data from final compost across the Commonwealth with the idea that they will set a PFAS standard for this type of material in the future.

The Town is aware of PFAS sampling that has been performed by the Landfill Facility in 2019.   The analytical laboratory report is inconclusive because the appropriate PFAS sample collection protocols were not followed. Also, the laboratory that performed the analysis was not approved by MassDEP at the time.  Therefore, this data set should not be used for reporting or evaluation purposes.  We did inform MassDEP of the data set and our consultant CDM Smith has elected to not use that data in our report for the reasons stated regarding its validity.  

The Town is performing a PFAS sampling event of compost using appropriate protocol and a laboratory approved by Mass DEP, in compliance with their Approval of Suitability (AOS) permit. 

In addition, the Town is performing a town-wide evaluation of island-specific risks from PFAS inclusive of wastewater treatment plant residuals and landfill operations. It is expected as a result of the town-wide study, an extensive sampling and analysis program of various media will be conducted to collect valid data to determine next steps.