EPA’s proposed PFAS drinking water standards lauded as an important public health milestone
Proposed strong standards for key PFAS chemicals will protect health and drinking water of communities nationwide
LANSING – The Great Lakes PFAS Action Network issued the following statement applauding today’s announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of proposed national drinking water standards (Maximum Contaminant Limits or “MCLs”) for six PFAS chemicals: PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, PFBS and GenX. These chemicals have been used in a broad variety of products and are the source of widespread contamination throughout the Great Lakes region and the rest of the country.
“The EPA’s proposed drinking water standards are an important milestone in the fight to protect public health and will save lives in impacted communities on the front lines of the PFAS crisis,” said Tony Spaniola, co-chair of the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network. “This is an A+ decision by the Biden Administration for front line communities. We urge that the proposed drinking water standards be adopted and implemented with all deliberate speed.”
In 2016, the EPA set non-enforceable health advisories for PFOA and PFOS at 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Last year, in light of the growing understanding of the dangers of these chemicals, the EPA set updated advisories for PFOA and PFOS, which were near zero. The proposed limits for PFOA and PFOS are the lowest detectable levels with current detection methods, and EPA has proposed an ultimate MCL goal of zero for those two chemicals.
The proposed Maximum Contaminant Limits announced today are:
PFOA – 4.0 ppt
PFOS – 4.0 ppt
PFNA, PFHxS,PFBS, GenX – 1.0 Hazard Index
“These proposed drinking water limits are a strong step toward addressing the PFAS crisis and protecting our health not just in Michigan, but across the country,” said Sandy Wynn-Stelt, co-chair of the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network. “Importantly, these proposed limits send a strong message to polluters, especially industries that use these chemicals, that there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ amount.”
According to the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), there are currently more than 200 confirmed PFAS contamination sites in the state of Michigan with more than 11,000 suspected PFAS sites throughout the state.
The Great Lakes PFAS Action Network is a coalition centered and driven by people impacted by toxic PFAS pollution, and supported by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Ecology Center, National Wildlife Federation and Need Our Water (NOW), Oscoda. More information can be found at glpan.org.