WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a new rule that will drastically limit the amount of toxic chemicals known as PFAS in Americans’ drinking water.
The announcement comes after decades of advocacy from environmental groups, as well as lawmakers are praising the new move.
“(It’s) a significant health win,” Melanie Benesh with the Environmental Working Groups said. “Exposure to PFAS chemicals are linked to serious health harms including some kinds of cancer, reproductive and developmental harms like lower birth weights and lower sperm counts.”
The new EPA rule would cut down on the acceptable level of six well-known PFAS compounds in drinking water. Bruno Pigott with the EPA’s Water Division said that local water utility companies will be required to check and maintain the new standards once the rule goes into effect.
Pigott also said that the Biden Administration set aside $9 billion in the recent infrastructure law to help utility companies adapt to the change.
“Not only are we setting a standard to ensure clean water but we are walking along with communities to make sure they have funding available,” he said.
PFAS has seeped into waterways from factories that use chemicals to create everything from no-stick pans to cosmetics. Benesh said the EPA must also address the root of the problem.
“The responsibility should really be on the polluter,” she said. “We also need to be thinking about the factory of stream.”
Further regulations will also be coming down in the near future, according to Pigott.
“There’s a great deal of urgency to get this done,” Pigott said.