Read the full article by Iris Myers (Environmental Working Group)

“Today the Environmental Protection Agency took two long-overdue preliminary actions toward regulating the toxic ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS in Americans’ tap water, committing to set legal limits for the two most notorious PFAS compounds and to test public water systems for more than two dozen others.

PFAS are known as forever chemicals because they do not break down in the environment and are linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental harms, and reduced effectiveness of vaccines. They contaminate over 2,300 sites in the U.S.

The EPA made a final determination to set drinking water limits for PFOA, a PFAS compound once used to make Teflon, and PFOS, a chemical that used to be an ingredient in Scotchgard. This determination is the first step in a long process for setting enforceable nationwide limits. PFOA and PFOS have largely been phased out of commerce, and several states have set their own legal limits, but the EPA has, for 20-plus years, failed to set a federal standard.

The agency also announced that between 2023 and 2025, it will require most public utilities to test their tap water for 29 other PFAS chemicals, plus the heavy metal lithium. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, every five years the EPA orders testing for up to 30 unregulated contaminants. In December 2019, Congress gave the EPA explicit authorization to test for all measurable PFAS chemicals in addition to any other chemicals monitored under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule…”