Krometis, Xia, and Ling PFAS Proposal Receives Funding from NIWR-USGS Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Leigh Anne Krometis, Dr. Kang Xia, and Erin Ling! Their proposal, “Characterizing prevalence and risk factors of PFAS in rural private water supplies,” is one of only four out of 34 PFAS proposals selected for two years of funding by the NIWR-USGS National Competitive Grants program!

Per-and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely used, manufactured chemicals that are found in water, air, animals, and soil around the world. Many PFAS do not break down in the environment, can contaminate soils and water, and bioaccumulate in animals. Exposure to certain PFAS is linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. 

From their proposal abstract: “Increasing evidence suggests that PFAS are ubiquitous in the environment, and that exposure to these chemicals presents a risk to the public health. The proposed effort aims to identify key geologic, anthropogenic, and socioeconomic factors that are predictive of the presence of PFAS in groundwater-sourced private water supplies (household wells and springs) [in Virginia counties], which may be uniquely vulnerable to PFAS contamination.” Through a partnership with the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, water quality samples will be collected from households served by private water systems across the state. 

Water quality test kits from the Virginia Household Water Quality Program

Dr. Leigh Anne Krometis, the Lead PI of the project, is an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech and a faculty affiliate with the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech. Dr. Kang Xia is a professor of environmental chemistry in the Virginia Tech School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, the Associate Director for the Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture, and a faculty affiliate with the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech. Erin Ling in a Senior Extension Associate in the department of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech and is the coordinator for the Virginia Household Water Quality Program.

The NIWR-USGS National Competitive Grants are offered by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources.  They support an annual call for proposals to focus on water problems and issues that are of a regional or interstate nature or relate to a specific program priority identified by the Secretary of the Interior and the Institutes. The goals of the National Competitive Grants program are to promote collaboration between the USGS and university scientists in research on significant national and regional water resources issues; promote the dissemination and results of the research funded under this program; and to assist in the training of scientists in water resources.

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