August 14, 2020 (MONTPELIER, VT) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today after Vermont regulators opened the public comment period on possible new rules to protect drinking water from toxic PFAS.
“We should never have to wonder if the water coming out of our taps is safe,” said Jen Duggan, Director of CLF Vermont. “The federal government has utterly failed to protect us from these toxic forever chemicals, so it is up to Vermont to take action. Vermonters must make their voices heard and tell regulators to put standards in place that get all of these chemicals out of our water once and for all.”
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances include suspected carcinogens and have been linked to a variety of severe health problems including learning disorders in infants and children, fertility and pregnancy issues and impaired liver, thyroid, pancreatic, and immune function.
On top of these already serious health threats, a former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recently warned that exposure to even small amounts of PFAS and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals could make people more vulnerable to COVID-19.
In March, the Agency of Natural Resources finalized drinking water standards for five dangerous PFAS. These standards require public water systems in Vermont to monitor for these toxics regularly and treat unsafe levels of them in drinking water. This is a start in protecting the health of Vermonters, but it is not enough. There are more than 8,000 kinds of PFAS, and we must remove each and every one from our drinking water.
Officials announced today that they do not believe they currently have sufficient information to put in place new rules and are inviting the public to provide additional information. The public can make their voices heard on this important issue and submit comments to the Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLF experts are available for further comment.