WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTAP) - Update: 2/21/2020
THE U.S. EPA now says it will propose legal limits for two perflourinated chemicals in drinking water.
The two are PFOA, or C8, once used in the manufacture of Teflon by DuPont-now Chemours, and PFOS, used in Scotchguard.
Republican West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito issued a statement welcoming the announcement, as did the Environmental Working Group. The EWG, however, added it could take years for the new standards to be implemented.
It is also not certain how the standard will affect local communities which have tested for C8 in their drinking water.
Filters were installed four years ago in the city of Vienna, after the EPA lowered the allowable level of C8 in public water supplies.
Senators from West Virginia and Ohio are among more than two dozen Democratic and independent lawmakers asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to update the agency's timeline for implementing a plan to combat exposure to harmful chemicals in the nation's drinking water.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio signed the letter asking EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly called PFAS.
The EPA released a PFAS Action Plan a year ago, and according to a news release from Manchin's office, it has not yet implemented many components of the plan.
In their letter, the senators wrote: “As you are aware, communities across the country are struggling to respond to the widespread issue of PFAS contamination. The human health risks from this class of chemicals, which include birth defects, various forms of cancer, and immune system dysfunction, are still being examined, and the uncertainty has caused great concern among our constituents.”
The lawmakers went on to underscore that the PFAS Action Plan alone is not enough to address the full scope and urgency of the problems associated with PFAS exposure.
They also highlighted that the EPA committed to establish federal drinking water standards last year for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), two of the most prevalent PFAS chemicals, but have also failed to follow through on that pledge.
In their letter, the Senators went on to address other parts of the plan that have not been prioritized, including important remediation efforts to help expedite cleanup of PFAS contamination under the Superfund law.
You can read the leader by clicking on the related link to the right of this article.