Attention Adventurers & Sparks:
Monday, October 17, 2021, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced a new plan to regulate the perfluorinated chemicals --- polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances -- known as "forever" chemicals. This class of chemicals never breaks down and has contaminated air, water, wildlife, and our bodies.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan told Brady Dennis and Darryl Fears of The Washington Post that "this is a really bold set of actions for a big problem." Critics are concerned that the plan is simply a plan, not one based in action. Industry has known about the health and environmental impacts of PFAs since the 1950s. And EPA has known about the extent of the PFAs contamination and associated troubling peer-reviewed science for more than twenty years. Therefore, many environmentalists expect a faster timetable for action from the Biden Administration.
The PFA "strategic roadmap" announced on Monday would do the following:
"Move with urgency" to create enforceable drinking water standards for forever chemicals. The goal is to announce a federal enforceable drinking water standard by 2023.
The EPA's three-year initiative will establish rules to stop companies from dumping PFAS into waterways and require national testing for PFAs in drinking water.
It will consider designating PFAs a "hazardous substance" under federal Superfund law.
The EPA will determine whether past actions under the federal toxics law are sufficient to protect public health.
The agency will conduct an analysis of air contamination.
EPA will also issue a final toxicity assessment for a "type of PFAS called GenX used in manufacturing nonstick coatings that has been found in drinking water, rainwater and air samples."
Some #OneGreenThings to consider based Service Superpower:
Adventurers: Research the extent of forever chemicals in your neighborhood with EWG's tap water atlas.
Influencers: Watch the film "Dark Waters" with friends about trial lawyer Rob Bilott's fight against chemical manufacturer Dupont for its massive environmental pollution and associated cover up of these forever chemicals. Share with friends.
Philanthropists: Tell a friend about forever chemicals in food packaging.
Sages: Talk to your community about forever chemicals and the need for stronger drinking water protections and funding for drinking water infrastructure and treatment.
Sparks: Share the news about EPA's announcement and make a future calendar appointment for 120 days. Then check back on the EPA website to check its progress.
Wonks: Take five minutes and read or watch this news article about how DOD warned more than 50,000 farmers about forever chemicals contamination from nearby military bases impacting their water. Contemplate the the extent of contamination, then urge your member of Congress to support funding for PFAs clean up in federal Defense Authorization legislation.