Read the full article by Mark Olalde (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
“The Environmental Working Group released a new analysis on Thursday that identified 2,501 industrial facilities around the country that are likely releasing a lightly regulated class of toxic chemicals into the environment in every state and Puerto Rico.
The chemicals are known as PFAS — which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — and have been linked to cancer, immune system deficiencies and other health issues. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are nearly 5,000 different types of PFAS, which are commonly used in firefighting foam and to make nonstick products.
‘In some ways, it’s kind of like the pandemic we’re dealing with right now,’ said Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Calif., who introduced the PFAS User Fee Act last year to call for manufacturers to pay into a trust fund to clean up this pollution. ‘If you test, you will find that you have issues with PFAS chemicals in every single district in the United States.’
In recent years, the military has emerged as a focus of cleanup efforts because of the chemicals’ use to fight fires on bases. But according to EWG, regulators and researchers are gaining a better understanding of just how many sources of contamination exist around the country.
‘These facilities include chemical companies that make PFAS, manufacturers that use PFAS in their manufacturing processes and companies that use PFAS to coat their products,’ said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs.
The environmental nonprofit’s analysis found more than 100 sites in California that were potentially discharging PFAS into air or water in the process of manufacturing sheet metal for planes, paint, semiconductors, petroleum products and numerous other goods.
Many of these sit clustered in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Several sites that are believed to be releasing PFAS were found farther east near Riverside and San Bernardino.
EWG and some politicians accused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of falling asleep at the wheel and failing to police industries that have been producing these chemicals since the 1940s.
‘We’ve seen a systematic approach by the Trump administration to decimate the EPA’s obligations under the legislation that has previously been passed,’ Rouda said…”