EPA Announces First-Ever National Standard to Protect Communities from PFAS in Drinking Water
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced it is proposing the first-ever national drinking water standard for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the latest action under President Biden’s plan to combat PFAS pollution and Administrator Regan’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap. Through this action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a major step to protect public health from PFAS pollution, leveraging the latest science and complementing state efforts to limit PFAS by proposing to establish legally enforceable levels for six PFAS known to occur in drinking water.
This proposal builds on other key milestones to combat PFAS, including EPA’s proposal to designate two PFAS as CERCLA hazardous substances; enhancing data on PFAS under EPA’s National PFAS Testing Strategy and through nationwide sampling for 29 PFAS in public drinking water systems; using EPA’s Clean Water Act permitting and regulatory programs to reduce PFAS pollution in the environment from industry; and initiating the distribution of $10 billion in funding to address emerging contaminants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
“With drinking water standards, we can finally begin to ‘turn off the tap’ of these toxic forever chemicals. This is a victory for the Black and Indigenous and other community-based organizations that pressured EPA to do something about decades of PFAS contamination. But the agency must not forget the PFAS in the water came from somewhere. EPA must now make Chemours and others responsible pay for all associated costs of PFAS contamination without placing the burden on taxpayers.” – Arthur Bowman III, Policy Director, CEH