EPA’s New PFAS Rules Set the Groundwork for Safer Drinking Water, But Even More Extensive Regulations Needed

Published Mar 14, 2023


Clean Water

“Communities shouldn’t have to choose between safe water and affordable water.”

“Communities shouldn’t have to choose between safe water and affordable water.”

Today the U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced enforceable limits on six PFAS — the toxic lab-made compounds known as “forever chemicals” — in drinking water. 

The EPA has proposed maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS of 4 ppt each, and for four PFAS types (PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS and GenX) based on a hazard index level. The EPA is proposing a health-based goal of zero for PFOA and PFOS, acknowledging that no amount is safe for human health. 

The water industry has indicated that the cost of compliance could exceed $38 billion, while the EPA estimated the cost will be $772 million a year. 

In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement: 

“While we still have a long way to go to ensure completely safe, pollution-free drinking water, these new regulations will save many lives and set the groundwork for even stronger public health protections. The science is clear: No amount of PFAS in water is safe. We must continue to fight to ensure that the entire class of PFAS is regulated and removed from our drinking water once and for all. 

“We applaud the many community groups on the front lines of this crisis that have fought long and hard for the EPA to take today’s action to remove these toxic compounds from our drinking water.  

“Corporate polluters have known for decades that these chemicals are toxic, and they have spent millions of dollars lobbying against regulations that would protect people from this harm. We must not allow the toxic chemical lobby to weaken these regulations and we must ensure that they are held accountable to clean up their pollution.

“We also cannot allow cost to dictate access to safe water. Communities need more federal support to comply with the safer standards necessary to protect public health. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided a down-payment, but our communities deserve a permanent source of federal funding to ensure safe and clean water for all. The WATER Act is the right vision to fully fund our public water infrastructure at the level needed. Communities shouldn’t have to choose between safe water and affordable water.”

Contact: Seth Gladstone – [email protected]

Press Contact: Seth Gladstone [email protected]