Read the full article at The Intelligence
“The Environmental Protection Agency will regulate two toxic chemicals — PFOA and PFOS — that have contaminated the drinking water of thousands of local residents.
Eventually. We think.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler made the announcement late last month, but the ‘proposed regulatory determinations’ for PFOS and PFOA are a far cry from a badly needed national drinking water standard for two of the oldest and most common of the toxic PFAS chemicals being found in Americans’ drinking water with growing regularity.
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, after the EPA determines it will regulate a chemical, the agency has two additional years to actually propose a maximum contaminant level. Then that level is subject to a review period. There’s no telling where this process will lead or how long it will take.
Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, a Democrat whose district sits about 50 miles from Flint in a state with more than 70 sites with PFAS contamination, summed up our feelings on what happened Feb. 20 nicely.
‘The action the EPA took … is a small, procedural step in a process with no promises about actually setting a standard — and long overdue,’ she said in a statement.
Dingell, a longtime advocate for clean drinking water, said the EPA ‘is taking the longest route possible on PFAS’ at a time when more and more people are coming into contact with the chemicals, which have been linked to health problems such as high cholesterol, immunodeficiencies, ulcerative colitis, reproductive issues and some cancers.
We agree that all of this is taking too long.
Wheeler’s announcement on Feb. 20 merely makes official the assurance he gave to reporters during a press conference in Philadelphia in February 2019 when he said ‘I have every intention of setting a (maximum contaminant level).’
That press conference accompanied the release of the EPA’s PFAS Action Plan which, among other things, created a framework for evaluating the need for an MCL. That action finally kept a promise that Wheeler’s predecessor Scott Pruitt made way back in May 2018 ‘to evaluate the need of a Maximum Contaminant Level for PFOA and PFOS.’
While there’s no debating that Wheeler’s announced decision to regulate PFOA and PFOS is welcome news, residents living in impacted communities here, including neighborhoods in Warminster, Warrington and Horsham, were fed up a year ago with how long it takes the EPA to keep its promises.
It has already been six years since the PFAS chemicals were first detected in the drinking water of what ultimately turned out to be more than 70,000 area residents. The PFAS chemicals, found in the groundwater, were linked to firefighting foams that U.S. military personnel used at three bases in Horsham and Warminster…”