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Dissent within Alaska agency over chemical classification

May 12, 2019 / citynews1130

A decision by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to redefine levels of certain chemicals considered safe in drinking water has caused dissent within the agency.Sally Schlichting, who works in the contaminated sites program, wrote in an internal memo that the best way to protect citizens is to not roll back standards.CoastAlaska reports the department’s commissioner, Jason Brune, (BREW-nee) said Schlichting doesn’t speak for the department or Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration. The department reclassified how it will measure per- and polyfluoroalkyl contamination in ground water. It said it would test for fewer chemicals to determine if well water is safe to drink.The department plans to use the less-stringent standards going forward before providing supplemental water to affected areas.