EPA PFAS Roadmap Shows Promise, Falls Short of Immediate and Bold Action Needed to Stop Environmental and Health Crisis
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its PFAS Strategic Roadmap, a set of new guidelines to manage per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a large class of toxic “forever chemicals” with detrimental environmental and health impacts that pose an immediate threat to air, water, and consumer product safety across the United States. While the roadmap outlines several key advancements, it fails to incorporate many key actions that would be required under the bipartisan “PFAS Action Act” as well as ongoing guidance from science and advocacy groups regarding the urgency and bolder actions needed to avoid an escalating PFAS crisis.
The following are statements from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) health and science experts:
“Years after the PFAS problem became clear, the EPA’s slow response in the Trump Administration left millions of people to drink dangerously-contaminated water. It’s important that today’s EPA is finally committing to specific dates to set tap water standards for two PFAS and to list them as hazardous under Superfund. While we welcome several proposals in the Roadmap, the agency needs to act with great urgency to address this five-alarm fire and take action on the full class of these toxic forever chemicals. The EPA must establish rigorous standards for cleaning up, phasing out, and regulating PFAS now to ensure we can drink from our kitchen taps without fear of endangering our family’s health.” - Erik D. Olson, Senior Strategic Director, Health and Food
“After four years of the Trump Administration’s enabling the chemical industry’s widespread production, use, and pollution of PFAS, the EPA should be sprinting towards adopting health protections, stopping exposure, and preventing the production and use of new class compounds. While the roadmap contains some potentially positive steps forward, the plans announced today are not enough, or fast enough, to tackle the ongoing PFAS crisis. As it heads down this road, EPA needs to regulate the chemical industry as a polluter—using all the tools Congress provided when it enacted the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and Superfund. - Daniel Rosenberg, Director, Federal Toxics Policy
“While assessing and possibly regulating PFAS as subgroups is a step forward from the individual chemical approach taken currently, to fully protect public health and the environment, the EPA needs to take regulatory measures to address the full class of PFAS as quickly as possible.” - Dr. Anna Reade, Staff Scientist
- The Scientific Basis for Managing PFAS as a Chemical Class (June 2020)
- Defending the Science on PFAS (February 2021)
- The Big Reveal: Hundreds of Health Studies on Next Gen PFAS (April 2021)
- The PFAS Crisis: Will the EPA Act? (February 2019)
- The Broken Safe Drinking Water Act Won’t Fix the PFAS Crisis (September 2019)
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.