The state Environment Department is stepping up efforts to prevent a cancer-causing pollutant from being discharged into state waters.

The agency has awarded a contract to map toxic plumes near two military bases while launching a project to test drinking-water sources in 19 counties for carcinogenic chemicals known as PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

These efforts will help determine the next steps in identifying and managing PFAS pollution in the state, the agency said.

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