WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a “PFAS Management Plan” today that fails to establish drinking water standards for toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Bart Johnsen-Harris, clean water advocate for Environment America, issued the following statement:
“With this plan, EPA now claims to be ‘moving forward’ on PFAS. Unfortunately, the plan does virtually nothing to protect our drinking water from these toxins.
“These chemicals have contaminated drinking water from Michigan to North Carolina. Now, with this new plan that lacks a clear health-based standard, there is no way to ensure our water is safe to drink. While action is needed to address contamination from all PFAS chemicals, EPA should, at the very least, be acting on PFOA and PFOS—which are the two best-studied and have the clearest direct health effects.
“A real strategy to protect our health and water from these toxic chemicals would include: a clear health-based limit on all PFAS chemicals in drinking water; resources to help communities restore safe drinking water and hold polluters accountable; and prevention that limits the use of these toxic chemicals. Then, the ultimate goal must be replacing them with safer alternatives.
“Unfortunately, the EPA is ‘moving forward’ with none of these.
“The EPA’s lack of safety limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act stands in jarring contrast to the agency’s admission, in this same management plan, that PFOA and PFOS should be designated as hazardous substances under Superfund. If a substance is too hazardous to be in the soil we walk on, it’s too hazardous to be in the water we drink.”