A Canadian environmental group is among those raising red flags about the latest proposal to treat PFAS leachate from the Coventry landfill. The state of Vermont has required that the landfill’s operator, Casella, design and build a pilot project to treat the so-called forever chemicals to protect the watershed, which includes Lake Memphremagog, which straddles the international border. The effluent containing PFAS is currently collected and brought to Montpelier’s treatment plant, where it is treated and released into the Winooski River and Lake Champlain. Under a new plan, the garbage juice would be treated on-site, eventually flowing into the lake. State regulators issued a permit this winter to allow Casella to proceed but Memphremagog Conservation, a Quebec environmental nonprofit is concerned about the plan. The group says they aren’t opposed to the pre-treatment, they just don’t want it released into the Memphremagog watershed, which serves as drinking water for some 175,000 Canadians. They instead want the effluent treated and released into a waterway that’s only in U.S. territory. The Water Boundaries Treaty signed by the U.S. and Canada in 1909 which states that waters flowing across the boundaries “shall not be polluted on either side to the injury of health or property on the other.” They are lobbying Canadian officials to begin a dialogue with U.S. officials to honor that treaty.
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