Tell EPA to Expand Drinking Water Protections Against PFAS Contamination - Waterkeeper

Tell EPA to Expand Drinking Water Protections Against PFAS Contamination

By: Thomas Hynes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new rule for regulating PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in our drinking water. In a welcome development, EPA has broadened its initial plans to regulate only the two most controversial “forever chemicals” (PFOA and PFOS) under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and now proposes to expand those protections and limit levels of six PFAS compounds in drinking water, adding a mixture limit for PFHxS, PFNA, PFBS, and GenX.

This regulation will help protect drinking water for people and communities across the country. In addition to establishing legally enforceable individual Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for two PFAS in drinking water, it would also establish an MCL using a hazard risk index for any combination of the other four PFAS.

The proposed rule would also require public water systems to:

  • Monitor for these PFAS
  • Notify the public of the levels of these PFAS
  • Reduce the levels of these PFAS in drinking water if they exceed the proposed standards.

EPA is requesting public comment on the proposed regulation and will hold a public hearing on May 4, 2023.

Will you take a few minutes and join us in supporting EPA’s plan to protect our drinking waters from PFAS?

Widely used in manufacturing and consumer products — like nonstick cookware and water resistant clothing — since at least the 1950s, PFAS are biopersistent, meaning they remain in organisms indefinitely without breaking down, and are bioaccumulative, meaning that over time, they build up in ever increasing amounts in people, wildlife, aquatic life, and the environment. These “forever chemicals” are linked to increased incidence of cancer, liver and kidney disease, reproductive issues, immunodeficiencies, and hormonal disruptions.

Experts estimate that more than 200 million Americans are exposed to PFAS through drinking water. According to our own nationwide PFAS contamination report from last October, a staggering 83% of the surface water samples showed detection of at least one PFAS compound. Multiple PFAS compounds were often detected together and at very high levels.  

That is why we need to support EPA’s proposal to set protective limits on PFAS in our public drinking water supplies today.

Your support can help turn these critical drinking water protections into a reality by filing a comment in support of the proposed rule with EPA today.