Getting ‘Forever Chemicals’ Out of the Water Supply

Happy Wednesday! If you live in Fayette County, Georgia, and woke up earlier this week to find several buffalo moseying through your backyard, you probably assumed you were still dreaming.

You weren’t. Rapper Rick Ross was gifted the 2,000-pound beasts last year by an underwear brand, and they’ve recently developed a habit of wandering off his property and annoying his neighbors. “You gotta get loose sometimes and see the other side. Nothing wrong with that,” Ross said. “So when you see my buffalo, give it a carrot. Give it an apple. They so kind, they so peaceful.”

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • At an American Bankers Association event in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended regulators’ moves to guarantee deposits in both the Silicon Valley and Signature Banks after their collapse this month and said the U.S. government could step in to protect depositors at other banks should there be a broader run on the system. “Our intervention was necessary to protect the broader U.S. banking system,” she said. “And similar actions could be warranted if smaller institutions suffer deposit runs that pose the risk of contagion.”
  • The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday the median existing-home sales price in the U.S. was $363,000 in February—down 0.2 percent year-over-year in February 2023, and the first such annual decline since February 2012. Sales of previously-owned homes increased 14.5 percent from January—ending 12 consecutive months of declines—but were still down 22.6 percent year-over-year.
  • The Defense Department announced Tuesday it will expedite the delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine, now aiming to have them in-country by the fall. The Pentagon said it would send an older—but refurbished—model of the M1 tank that can be pulled from existing Army stockpiles instead of new tanks that could have taken up to two years to build and ship. 
  • Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida provided the strongest indication yet that he plans to run for president in 2024 on Tuesday, sitting down for an interview with Piers Morgan in which he touted his electoral and legislative victories, criticized Donald Trump’s management style, and predicted he would beat President Joe Biden in a theoretical head-to-head matchup. “If I were to run, I’m running against Biden,” he said. “I think the country wants a change. I think they want a fresh start and a new direction, and so we’ll be very vocal about that.”

‘Just Say No’ to PFAS

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Don’t freak out, but odds are, you probably have a synthetic chemical that’s been linked to a number of maladies pumping through your veins as you read this newsletter. Was it a little more difficult for us to fall asleep last night after learning that fact? You bet. 

Last week, the Biden administration announced sweeping new rules aimed at curbing the amount of these chemicals in the nation’s water supply. Years in the making, the changes would establish federal limits on manufactured compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or “forever chemicals,” that don’t degrade naturally and can build up over time in the air, soil, and water, producing dangerous health effects. If implemented as proposed, the rules would represent the most significant change to water quality regulations in decades—but complying with them won’t be cheap. 

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