Pesticides & the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Projct
2022 16th Annual Conference
Quantifying Harm: PFAS in Pesticides,
How Pesticides are Impacting the Bay Watershed, and Solutions
The Conference will be held virtually as two, 2-1/4 hour sessions Thursdays, Nov. 3 and Dec. 1, 2022 from 10 am to 12:15 pm.
An Update from the Chesapeake Bay Peogram
Greg Allen, Ph.D., Senior Environmental Scientist, EPA Chesapeake Bay Program
Monitoring PFAS in Bay Waters
Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director, Chesapeake Waterkeepers
Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, Chesapeake Waterkeepers
PFAS is an acronym for a class of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS are also often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment and bioaccumulate, persisting in the bodies of humans and animals and are linked to a variety of health problems. These chemicals can be found in our soils, water, food, and households. Waterkeepers are engaging in water quality testing to determine sources of PFAS entering our waterways in an effort to help control exposure to these substances. We will discuss the results of our monitoring efforts and what’s coming next.
Tapping the Soil Reservoir:
A Transition from High Input Conventional Farming to Regenerative Organic Systems
Stephen Kraszewski, Mason’s Farm & Mason’s Heritage Farm
Soil health is an investment in building and maintaining ecological diversity that marries a farmer’s profitability and environmental stewardship; as author Mark Zimmer puts it – “The Biological Farmer”. Unique state-of-the-art technology and farming techniques focuses on a model of resource aggregation. Rather than fertility welfare and chemical prescriptions, farming in nature’s image will begin to unlock the soil’s untapped potential for growing healthier food and supporting vibrant ecosystems.
Climate Change, Pesticides, and Biodiversity
Kendra Klein, Ph.D, Deputy Director of Science, Friends of the Earth
Climate change is likely to drive increased use of pesticides in agriculture by changing environmental factors related to pest pressure and insect lifecycles. Meanwhile, research shows that pesticides widely used in American agriculture pose a grave threat to soil organisms and other biodiversity that underpin the food system. To enhance farmers’ resilience to climate change and to build healthy soils that sequester carbon and conserve water, farmers must be supported to rapidly transition to organic and other ecologically regenerative farming systems.
KEYNOTE: Graham Peaslee, PhD on Measuring PFAS in Pesticides
Professor of Physics, University of Notre Dame, and Cofounder & CTO, UMP Analytics
Measuring PFAS in environmental samples or in complicated matrices is difficult, especially at the detection limits required to protect the public from human health concerns. While the use of firefighting foams historically dominates the environmental contamination, now that the use of these foams has been restricted and replacement fluorine-free foams are being used, attention is focused on other potential sources of human exposure to PFAS. Food packaging, textiles and even cosmetics has been shown to widely use PFAS and represent another threat from these “forever chemicals”. Insecticides represent a widely used commodity that increasingly uses fluorine chemistry and may include PFAS intentionally as a dispersion agent or may unintentionally leach PFAS from its packaging. We are studying both intentional and unintentional PFAS contributions using our rapid screening method and can give an assessment of where the analytical field currently stands with respect to PFAS testing. Some standard analytical techniques work well to rule out intentional PFAS use in insecticides, and we have recently learned how to distinguish unintentional PFAS from packaging and details of these methods will be presented. A summary of reliable analytical approaches that are currently available will be presented together with a discussion of how policy decisions and future research can help find an appropriate path forward.
Watch the 40-minute video presentation | Download the PowerPoint presentation
Graham Peaslee is a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame. He leads an active research group that develops novel analytical methods to measure chemicals of concern in the environment. In his 35-year career he has 231 peer-reviewed publications, including 22 on the topic of measuring PFAS and their fate and transport in the environment, and one patent on a “method for detecting fluorinated chemicals in liquid”. He is also a co-author of the Madrid Statement on The Madrid Statement on Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) which is dedicated to the reduction in our non-essential use of these “forever chemicals” in our society. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Princeton University in Princeton NJ, as well as a PhD in Chemical Physics from the State University of New York in Stony Brook, NY. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.
Research & Data Gaps Working Group: Key Findings & Data Gaps from a Decade of Pesticide Research
Vicki Blazer, PhD, Research Fishery Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Ian Hartwell, PhD, Exotoxicologist, NOAA (retired)
Greg Allen, PhD, Sr. Environmental Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Program
Members of the Project Working Group will discuss their work on reviewing pesticide-related studies that impact the Chesapeake Bay Watershed since 2010, as well as recommended actions, and areas where research is needed.
Election 2022: What Happened and What Comes Next?
Kristen Harbeson, Political Director, Md. League of Conservation Voters
Maryland’s 2022 election stands to be even more transformative than its usual quadrennial transition, with all three constitutional officers (Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller) new to their role for the first time since the end of World War II as well as a number of new leaders in the General Assembly. What happened in November? And what does this mean for pesticide advocacy moving forward? After a review and analysis of election results, the presentation will be collaborative about opportunities, challenges, and next steps.
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