EPA Takes Major Step Forward on PFAS Action Plan; Meets Criticism

EPA Takes Major Step Forward on PFAS Action Plan; Meets Criticism

The Environmental Protection Agency released draft interim guidance Thursday for addressing groundwater contaminated with PFOA and PFOS, according to an EPA press release.

The new guidance is available for public review and input and will be a key component in the agency’s plans to protect communities affected by PFOA/PFOS contamination.

“This interim guidance will support actions to protect the health of communities impacted by groundwater that contains PFOA and PFOS above the 70 parts per trillion level, and is a potential source of drinking water,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in the release. “This is a critical tool for our state, tribal and local partners to use to address these chemicals.”

The guidance met Democratic criticism Friday that it is the result of Pentagon pressure to weaken standards on cleaning up chemical pollution near military bases.

“If reports are true that the DOD pressured the EPA to weaken PFAS cleanup standards, this is wholly unacceptable and is inconsistent with assurances that Acting Secretary Shanahan gave me on the Pentagon’s commitment to address PFAS contamination,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wrote in a tweet. “We cannot afford to take a step backward on addressing PFAS contamination.”

EPA has opened a docket for a 45-day public comment period. To view the draft guidance and submit comments, visit https://www.epa.gov/pfas.

Air Force photo by Airman Jacob Wrightsman

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