(Hartford, CT) — Attorney General William Tong, as part of a 17-state coalition filed comments to the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) supporting the agency’s proposal to set enforceable drinking water standards for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—more commonly known as PFAS or “forever” chemicals.

“PFAS forever chemicals are a threat to human health, and I fully support EPA’s efforts to set enforceable drinking water standards. These proposed regulations will go a long way towards ensuring the safety of our drinking water, but they must be accompanied by robust funding and support for public water system upgrades. Once we identify these chemicals, the burden of cleaning and protecting our water supply must not fall on states, consumers or local communities alone,” said Attorney General Tong.

In the proposed rule, EPA set Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) and Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLG) for six PFAS regularly found in drinking water: PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, GenX, PFNA, and PFBS. In the States’ comment letter, the States express support for (1) EPA’s authority to set the PFAS drinking water standards; (2) EPA’s authority to issue a preliminary determination and simultaneously propose MCLs and MCLGs for PFAS in drinking water; and (3) EPA’s proposed Hazard Index approach to regulate PFHxS, GenX, PFNA, and PFBS individually and as a mixture.

While supportive of the proposed rule, the comment letter also urges EPA to (1) make technical and engineering resources available to public water systems so that the financial burden of removing PFAS does not unfairly fall on ratepayers and customers; (2) finalize the drinking water standards quickly; and (3) consider drinking water standards for other PFAS after finalizing the rule.

PFAS chemicals resist degradation in the environment and accumulate in the body. Those contaminants may be linked to serious adverse health effects in humans and animals. Epidemiologic studies have shown that potential adverse human health effects from exposure to some PFAS include increased serum cholesterol, immune dysregulation, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and kidney and testicular cancers. Exposure to certain types of PFAS is also associated with low birthweight in humans, suppressed immune system response, dyslipidemia, impaired kidney function, and delayed onset of menstruation.

Across the country, PFAS contamination is often found at military bases, firefighting training centers, civilian airports, and industrial facilities. PFAS chemicals tend to be persistent in the environment and have been used for decades as ingredients in firefighting foam and consumer products. Some states with significant PFAS contamination are currently spending a significant amount of money to address the contamination in public drinking water systems, and to investigate numerous areas and sources of potential contamination.

The attorneys general state in the letter that “[o]ur states face substantial threats to public health and the environment from PFAS” and that “[w]e strongly support EPA’s proposed action to set national standards to protect the public from the harmful health impacts of PFAS in drinking water.”

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Stephen Krauchick

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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