State Policymakers Must Step Up After New EPA PFAS Plan Fails to Protect Public Health
February 14, 2019
For Immediate Release: February 14, 2019
For More Information Contact:
Sarah Doll, (503) 522-6110 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gretchen Salter, (206) 619-0973, email@example.com
Portland, OR – Today, in response to the U.S. EPA’s recently issued PFAS management plan, Safer States, a national coalition of environmental health organizations, called on state leaders across the country to fill the gaps in the EPA plan by enacting strong state policies that address the harmful class of chemicals called “PFAS.” PFAS contaminates drinking water, people, communities, and the environment across the country.
The following is a statement by Safer States National Director Sarah Doll:
“EPA’s plan does not reflect the magnitude or urgency of the problem. While the plan states that the entire class of chemicals is persistent and highly mobile, it does not propose any concrete actions that would immediately limit exposure to the class. Any actions EPA is proposing are limited to only two PFAS chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, and even those actions involve slow-moving processes.
Americans expect that the water they drink and the air they breathe is clean and healthy and free from harmful pollutants like PFAS. They also expect the products they use to be safe and to not pollute their homes. PFAS contamination in our communities is a public health crisis. It deserves more than what the EPA plan offers, which is more study and little action.
EPA’s plan only increases the need for state policies that ensure safe drinking water and healthy communities. The bottom line is that we need to stop the use of these harmful chemicals and states are stepping up to do that.
I am encouraged by the number of states considering legislation to address PFAS. This year at least 13 states are already considering legislation to address PFAS, including policies that protect people from unsafe drinking water and eliminate the use of PFAS in products like carpeting, furniture, and food packaging.
I am optimistic that states will continue to lead on this issue and encourage more states to lead in protecting their residents from PFAS.”
States considering policies to address PFAS in drinking water or bans on PFAS in consumer products or firefighting foam include AK, CT, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, WA. A complete analysis of state policies is available at www.saferstates.org.
PFAS are a harmful class of nonstick chemicals that contaminate the drinking water of an estimated 110 million Americans. PFAS present an occupational health risk to firefighters, and are widespread in the environment. The chemicals are used in firefighting foams – a major source of drinking water contamination – and numerous consumer products in our homes, including nonstick coatings in food packaging and stain resistant coatings on carpets, clothing and furniture.
“EPA’s plan does not reflect the magnitude or urgency of the problem." -- Sarah Doll, National Director, Safer States