Texas

EPA announces strategy to regulate toxic “eternal chemicals”

Washington – The Biden administration has launched a wide range of strategies to regulate toxic industrial compounds associated with severe health conditions used in products ranging from cookware to carpets and fire extinguishing agents.

Michael Regan, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said pollution from public drinking water systems, private wells, and even food clusters of long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS is increasingly emerging. He said he was taking a series of actions to limit it.

advertisement

The plan is to limit the release of PFAS to the environment, accelerate the cleanup of PFAS-contaminated areas such as military bases, and learn where PFAS is and how it can be prevented from spreading. The aim is to increase investment in research.

“This is a bold strategy that begins with immediate action,” Reagan said in an interview with The Associated Press, including additional steps for President Joe Biden to “pass this first term.” .. A toolbox for limiting human exposure to these toxic chemicals. “

PFAS is called a “permanent chemical” because it lasts so long in the environment and is associated with serious health conditions such as cancer and weight loss at birth.

Under the strategy announced on Monday, the EPA will move to set aggressive drinking water limits for PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act, requiring PFAS manufacturers to report on the toxicity of their products. Authorities are also moving to designate PFAS as a toxic substance under the so-called Superfund Act, which allows the EPA to pay or force the companies responsible for pollution to do the cleanup work. ..

advertisement

The measure will make it easier for the EPA to ensure that cleanups are carried out safely and that “polluters bear the costs,” Regan said.

Regulatory strategies are when Congress sets national drinking water standards for specific PFAS chemicals and considers a wide range of legislation to clean up contaminated areas across the country, including military bases where high rates of PFAS were found. Will be brought.

PFAS stands for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl materials used in non-stick frying pans, water repellent sports gear, antifouling rugs and countless other consumer products. Chemical bonds are so strong that they either do not break down in the environment or break down only slowly and stay in the human bloodstream indefinitely.

A law passed by the House of Representatives directs the EPA to set national drinking water standards for PFAS and to develop emission limits for various industries suspected of releasing PFAS into water. The bill is stuck in the Senate.

advertisement

Regan welcomes Congressional action, but he said the EPA has the authority to act on its own.

“PFAS pollution has devastated communities for decades, even before we knew how dangerous these chemicals were,” he told AP.

Former North Carolina environmental regulator Reagan, who took over as head of the EPA in March, said he saw first-hand how dangerous PFAS was in his home state.

As North Carolina’s Chief Environmental Officer, Regan led the negotiations on the Capefia River, which was dangerously contaminated with PFAS industrial compounds released over decades from a manufacturing plant operated by the spin-off of chemical giant DuPont. Brought purification.

“I spent time with family members in their community and talked to them about the fears and worries they had,” said Regan, who was scheduled to announce the EPA’s actions on Monday at a press conference in Raleigh. Told. “I talked to a mother who was concerned about the potential long-term effects on her child and a caregiver who suspected that the terminal illness of her loved one might be involved,” Fayetteville said. Related to PFAS emissions from building factories.

advertisement

“That’s why it’s urgent,” he added. “And in North Carolina, we’ve made progress. We’ve followed law and science and held polluters accountable.”

Still, he said the state would have been in a stronger position “if the federal government had been a better, stronger partner.”

According to Regan, the EPA under his leadership “did more in eight months” at PFAS than the previous administration did in four years.

Authorities expect to propose a draft rule on PFAS in drinking water by 2023, Regan said. “We will act as quickly as possible to set these safe drinking water limits,” he said.

Action against PFAS will not take place “behind the American people,” Regan added. “We make polluters accountable and use the full range of statutory authority to ensure that they pay for what they do.”

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

EPA announces strategy to regulate toxic “eternal chemicals”

Source link EPA announces strategy to regulate toxic “eternal chemicals”

Back to top button