Washington, D.C. (WOWK) – The Environmental Protection Agency released its plan, the PFAS Action Plan, one year ago and has yet to implement many of the commitments outlined in the strategy. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led a group of 30 senators in a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler requesting an updated timeline for when the agency will implement commitments made in its plan to combat exposure to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.
“As you are aware, communities across the country are struggling to respond to the widespread issue of PFAS contamination,” Manchin wrote. “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 wrote in the letter that the PFAS Action Plan alone is insufficient to address the full scope and urgency of the problems associated with PFAS exposure. The letter states that failure to take an initial step to implement this plan is concerning and that the EPA has failed to follow through on its pledge to establish federal drinking water standards last year for perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, two of the most prevalent PFAS chemicals.
Senators also addressed other parts of the plan that have not been prioritized, including remediation efforts to help expedite cleanup of PFAS contamination under the Superfund law.
“Yet, despite then-Administrator Scott Pruitt committing the EPA to designating these materials (PFOA and PFOS) as hazardous substances in May 2018, the EPA has not even sent a proposal to the Office of Management & Budget for interagency review, let alone published it for public comment,” the letter states.
The letter can be read in full here.