EPA Water Chief Issues Strong Statement on PFAS Management Plan
EPA makes clear it has not finalized its PFAS management plan quite yet, highlights long action list.
Last week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water Assistant Administrator David Ross released a statement in response to media reports on a forthcoming EPA management plan for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are important emerging contaminants that are shaking up the world of environmental regulation.
In short, PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the world since the 1940s. Most of PFAS chemicals are bio-accumulative and extremely difficult to remediate.
When complete, EPA’s PFAS action plan will outline the agency’s approach to identifying and understanding PFAS exposures and addressing the PFAS challenge. The action plan is currently undergoing interagency review. Whereupon EPA will be prepared to discuss the contents of the plan as soon as interagency review is complete, and the plan is released to the public, an EPA statement made clear.
In specific response to unnamed media reports, Assistant Administrator Ross released the following statement:
EPA is committed to supporting states, tribes and local communities in addressing challenges with PFAS, the agency maintains.
EPA has taken a number of steps to identify solutions to address PFAS in the environment, including:
- Hosted a National Leadership Summit
- Traveled to states with communities impacted by PFAS
- Develop a PFAS Management Plan (Fall 2018)
- Released EPA's Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOS/PFOA
- Developed a laboratory method for measuring PFOS, PFOA and 12 other PFAS in drinking water (EPA Method 537)
- Expanded the current drinking water Method 537 to include GenX chemicals and additional PFAS
- Conducted monitoring for PFAS in drinking water under the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule
- Provided provisional Peer Reviewed Toxicity Values for PFBS for use in site decision making
- Identified the universe of PFAS currently being manufactured and used
- Collected scientific literature on PFAS toxicity
- Developed draft human health toxicity values for GenX and PFBS
- Providing states with access to test data obtained under TSCA authority for GenX chemicals (acid and salt)
- Provide access to PFAS related publications, data and information
- Created a PFOA Stewardship Program with industry to phase out manufacturing of PFOA
- Outlined drinking water treatment processes for PFOA/PFOS in drinking water
- Updating EPA Drinking Water Treatability Database for multiple PFAS (Ongoing)
- Will provide a description of federal authorities applicable to PFAS contamination (Ongoing)
- Develop groundwater cleanup recommendations for PFOA/PFOS
- Continuing site-specific technical assistance to identify and reduce PFAS exposures
- Ongoing robust public engagement effort with states, tribes, local communities, utilities, industry and the public
- Created an EPA regional coordination network to help EPA to support states and tribes in addressing PFAS
- Support PFAS outreach, including development of a PFAS webinar series and risk communication materials (Ongoing)
For more information about EPA actions to address PFAS, please visit https://www.epa.gov/pfas/epa-actions-address-pfas.
Contact EPA to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.
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