EPA moves to remove harmful chemicals from drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to eliminate manufactured chemicals in drinking water that can cause kidney and testicular cancers, lead to stroke, hamper infant development, give rise to liver damage, and increase cholesterol levels.

The EPA’s mission is to protect human life and the environment and will establish legally enforceable levels of six PFAS ( Per-Polyfluroalky), which occur in drinking waters.

PFAS is a category of manufactured chemicals that have been found in industrial products since 1940, and they can build up in the bloodstream of people and animals, and contaminate the environment over time.

Last week, President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced that they are proposing the first-ever national drinking water standard for six per-poly-fluoroalkyl substances using CERCLA, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. 

The EPA will spend at least $55 billion in funding to address emerging contaminants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. 

President Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law, enacting a key piece of his domestic spending agenda that will funnel billions to states and local governments to upgrade outdated roads, bridges, transit systems, and water systems.

“Communities across the country have suffered far too long from the ever-present threat of PFSA,†said EPA Administrator Michael S. Reagan. “EPA’s proposal to establish a national standard for PFAS in drinking water is informed by the best available science and would provide states with the guidance they need to make decisions that are best for their communities.â€

Water systems will be monitored, and treatment and public notifications will be made.

The EPA in April 2021 released a strategy for the protection of public health and the environment from the impacts of PFAS.

There are thousands of types of PFAS chemicals. They can be found in stain and water repellants used in manufacturing fabrics, carpets, and outwear.

They also can be found in manufacturing and professional facilities, airports, and military installations that use firefighting foams and nonstick cookware.

The EPA will publish its final drinking water rule in the fall of 2023.