Tuesday, April 25, 2023

What a Man Hears, while Making His Coffee: EPA Rule, PFAS, and Water Bill Increase (published 4-25-2023; article #407)

Image title “PFOA, also known as C8, has 8 carbons.” From “Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)” on National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, last reviewed 3/9/2023. “This content is available to use on your website.”


What did this Appalachian Irishman hear, while making his morning coffee? This brief article has to share the funny story! It's the 102nd article on humor.

In the early morning dawn today, after Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had just departed for work, I had the TV on the local news. I was in the kitchen, making coffee. I thought that I'd heard the newscaster say, “the EPA's regulation of pee pads could increase water bills.”

Nothing is wrong with my hearing. In fact, at my annual physical, two years ago, the nurse was surprised that I could hear above the normal human level. The sound of the coffee brewing must have caused my misunderstanding. I had to fact check what I thought that I'd heard!

What I Learned

So, what was the actual news segment? The website article for the TV segment that I heard is: “Some local utilities warn proposed EPA rule could raise rates for water,” WBIR-TV, Knoxville TN, by Vinay Simlot, 4/24/2023.

Apparently, the newscaster had said, “the EPA's regulation of PFAS could increase water bills.” I stood corrected. I stuck a finger in each ear, to check for earwax. The news article begins by stating:

A proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency could raise rates for drinking water, some local utilities warn.

Our water bill -- as is everything, in the “Biden economy” -- is higher and high enough. My investigative desire dug deeper into the well of online research. The “proposed rule” link is to “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Proposed PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation,” on United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), updated 4/7/2023.

That rather complex source -- rich in acronyms, PDF download links, and “policy-wonk psychobabble” -- states, in part (with my emboldened red font added for emphasis):

On March 14, 2023, EPA announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS . . . . EPA anticipates finalizing the regulation by the end of 2023. EPA expects that if fully implemented, the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.

To learn more about PFAS and to find important background information to support understanding the details of specific actions EPA takes to address PFAS and other emerging events related to PFAS visit:

So, what are polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS? Why are they dangerous? The website,, includes a link to “Our [EPA's] current understanding of the human health and environmental risks PFAS.” I selected the following quotes from that link (with my emboldened red font added for emphasis).

PFAS are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s because of their useful properties.

. . . surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that most people in the United States have been exposed to some PFAS. Most known exposures are relatively low . . . .

Current peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that exposure to certain levels of PFAS may lead to: Reproductive effects such as decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women. Developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes. Increased risk of some cancers, including prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers. Reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections, including reduced vaccine response. Interference with the body’s natural hormones. Increased cholesterol levels and/or risk of obesity.

. . . health effects associated with exposure to PFAS are difficult to specify for many reasons . . . .

Of course, that link includes a mind-numbing amount of additional information and links to other sources. I clicked and read enough, to see the bureaucratic spiderweb forming around my computer monitor. I cleared the spiderweb.

My Reaction

Initially, I said to no one, aside from God hearing me, “Well, I wonder when and how much our water bill will increase.” Since God is all-knowing, He heard me. (See Jesus' warning, in Matthew 12:36-27.)

The water utility district that provides our water filters river water. It's as good as “city water” can get. We filter our drinking water, from the tap. If our water has any PFAS in it, then it is not bothering us.

On Your Voice in Federal Decision Making, I found: “You are commenting on a Proposed Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances National Primary Drinking Water Regulation.” I entered the following comment:

This morning, a local TV news station had a segment on this proposed rule. I read through enough material, until I found this comment section. Of course, the website information about this proposed rule includes a plethora of bureaucracy and mind-numbing details that are amazing! I know how to read and sort it all out, even if it takes time. I hope that our monthly water bill does not increase. It's high enough already. We should have had a water well drilled, during the construction phase of our house. I hope that every government official, who is involved, uses enough educated common sense, to do right by we the people. You serve us, after all. Serve us properly, please!

Mine appears to have been the sixty-seventh comment. As of this entry, I don't see that my comment has been published yet. It is, however, published in this article!


I may need to stop turning on the local TV news, in the morning, while making coffee! This is not the first time, this month, that the news inspired an article. (See the funny 4/19/2023 article!)

Please enjoy, after skipping the advertisements, the song, “Dig A Little Deeper In The Well,” by the Oak Ridge Boys, on The Oak Ridge Boys official OAKSTV channel!

Papaw Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970) started Ferrell's Well Drilling, in 1901. Dad (Earl Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) continued the business, in 1953, until he retired, in 1999. Dad drilled water wells for 46 years in and around Hawkins County.

I wish that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had decided to have a water well drilled, in 2003, while our house was under construction. At least the EPA isn't trying to regulate pee pads -- yet!

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