The EPA is developing new water quality criteria for PFAS to protect aquatic life while updating its pollution discharge permitting to address the “forever chemicals,” the agency announced Thursday.
Those measures—in addition to a new testing method that will help the agency detect per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in water—advance the Environmental Protection Agency’s strategy announced last October to cut down on PFAS, the agency said.
The EPA is using “all available tools to address PFAS contamination,” Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement. “Today’s actions help protect the health of all Americans as we deliver on our commitment to research, restrict, and remediate PFAS.”
The EPA in October released a three-year “roadmap” for PFAS, which included possible regulations and research that will help the agency decide how best to control the substances.
PFAS are a group of thousands of human-created industrial chemicals used to make nonstick cookware, firefighting foam, water-resistant clothing and other products. They remain in the environment indefinitely and are associated with health problems, including increased risk of cancer.
Environmental groups said the EPA needs to do more to regulate PFAS.
“Today’s actions are a step in the right direction, but stronger federal regulations are still urgently needed to curb industrial PFAS pollution,” said Melanie Benesh, an attorney at the Environmental Working Group, which advocates for strong pollution controls. “The EPA should also speed up its efforts to limits discharges from polluting industries.”
Bloomberg Law, 29-04-22