WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today criticized the EPA for releasing a PFAS Action Plan that fails to set an enforceable drinking water standard, also known as a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), for PFOA and PFOS contaminants. At the EPA’s summit on PFAS in May 2018, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA would initiate steps to evaluate the need for an MCL. In this Action Plan released almost a year later, the EPA still won’t commit to setting a maximum contaminant level and says that it will be nearly another year before it determines whether an MCL necessary.
“It is totally unacceptable that the EPA is once again delaying setting an enforceable drinking water standard,” Senator Hassan said. “While I appreciate that there are some positive steps forward in this Action Plan, it continues to be lacking on a critical issue. Nearly a year ago, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt promised action on setting an enforceable drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS contaminants, yet now the EPA is saying our communities will have to wait almost another full year before the EPA will even decide whether it will set a drinking water standard. Parents should not have to worry about whether the water they are giving their children is safe, and the EPA must stop dragging its feet on giving our communities the guidance they need.”
Senator Hassan has long fought to ensure that all Granite Staters and Americans have access to clean drinking water and has cosponsored legislation to require the EPA to develop a Maximum Contaminant Level for PFOA and PFAS. Last year, Senator Hassan participated in the first-ever Senate hearing on contamination of PFAS in drinking water, and joined in introducing bipartisan legislation, the PFAS Accountability Act, that holds federal agencies accountable for addressing contamination from PFAS at military bases across the country. Additionally, Senator Hassan joined the rest of the New Hampshire Delegation in calling on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to focus research efforts on the potential connection between PFAS exposure and pediatric cancer. Senator Hassan also supported Senator Shaheen in establishing the first-ever nationwide health study on the impacts of PFAS in drinking water, as well as securing funding for the study in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March 2018.