EPA Plan to Address PFAS in Drinking Water Falls Far Short

States must take action to clean up toxic chemicals in water throughout New England

Vizaphoto Photographer via Shutterstock

February 14, 2019 (BOSTON) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to the announcement of the Environmental Protection Agency plan to address widespread contamination of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the U.S.  The inadequate plan does not commit EPA to take action to protect drinking water, add PFAS to Superfund cleanup laws, prevent new PFAS from entering the marketplace, or require reporting and monitoring of PFAS releases.

“Millions of Americans are drinking water laced with one or more of these PFAS chemical compounds at dangerous levels, and EPA’s response is to announce continued dithering while communities are at risk,” said Brad Campbell, President of CLF. “By an empty promise of future steps on just two of the dozens of PFAS compounds found in drinking water, with no intention of taking these toxic chemicals off the market, EPA is misleading the public about this health threat and hobbling efforts by states and municipalities to hold polluters accountable for community and residential water systems that have been contaminated.”

PFAS have been linked to a variety of severe health problems including kidney and testicular cancer; impaired liver, pancreatic, and immune system function; thyroid disease; fertility and pregnancy issues; high blood pressure; and growth and learning problems in infants and children.

PFAS have been used widely in products that many of us rely on every day – nonstick cookware, food wrappers, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. Today, there are approximately 3,000 different kinds of PFAS.

The dangerous compounds have been found in drinking waters throughout New England, and CLF has filed petitions in each state to protect residents from PFAS. To read more about CLF’s fight to remove PFAS from our water, click here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.