03/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/01/2021 14:04
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that shows the federal government needs to take further action to clean up and prevent contamination from per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS). The report found that the Trump Administration made limited progress in protecting communities and drinking water resources from exposure to these toxic 'forever chemicals.' Much of the progress identified in the report was due to Congressional efforts. Senators Carper and Peters originally requested the report in 2019 to obtain information about ongoing federal agency efforts to address the PFAS contamination crisis and to ensure the effective usage of taxpayer dollars.
'Communities across the country are impacted every day by exposure to PFAS chemicals in their drinking water,' said Senator Carper. 'This report lays out where we stand on addressing this critical issue affecting millions of Americans, and its findings are crystal clear: we have a lot of work to do. I'll be continuing the fight in Washington to ensure all families have access to clean water.'
'Exposure to PFAS chemicals continues to harm the health and wellbeing of families in Michigan and across America. This report clearly shows that while progress is being made, the federal government must step up their efforts to ensure our drinking water is safe and protect communities from these hazardous chemicals,' said Senator Peters. 'From establishing a national drinking water standard to securing the resources needed to cleanup affected communities- I will continue working with the Biden Administration to ensure we address PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the nation.'
The report can be found here.
The report found that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made some progress on three out of six regulatory actions laid out in a 2019 plan to address the PFAS crisis. This includes measures required by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), such as ensuring that EPA review imported products containing PFAS chemicals before entering the United States. However, the report also found that under the previous Administration, EPA failed to complete three additional regulatory actions laid out in their plan to combat these harmful chemicals. This includes failing to make progress on efforts to designate PFAS as a hazardous substance.