December 20, 2018 (BOSTON) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has filed petitions with state agencies across New England to push regulators to adopt new drinking water standards that protect the public from the dangers of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). Without a new standard, public water systems in each state are not required to regularly monitor for PFAS or to treat water with unsafe levels of these toxic chemicals.
“PFAS contamination is endangering public health across New England,” said Heather Govern, Director of CLF’s clean water program. “The chemicals’ health risks have been known for decades, but current drinking water standards fail to protect us from the threat of serious illness. With the EPA dragging its feet, our state agencies are obligated to set limits that safeguard our drinking water.”
PFAS are suspected carcinogens and they have been linked to a variety of severe health problems including learning disorders in infants and children, fertility and pregnancy issues, and increased risk of liver, thyroid, and pancreatic cancers. PFAS were used for decades to make products that resist heat, oil, stains, and water, including nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, food packaging coating, and fire-fighting foam.
CLF is calling on states to adopt a drinking water standard that protects residents from exposure to PFAS. There are established treatment technologies available that can be installed in public water systems to remove PFAS compounds from drinking water, and CLF’s petitions are requesting that each state implement these solutions.
The organization has filed petitions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. CLF will be sending a petition for rulemaking to the Rhode Island Department of Health in the coming weeks.
For more information about CLF’s fight to protect New Englanders from toxic chemicals in drinking water, click here.
CLF experts are available for further comment.