The U.S Environmental Protection Agency must move faster to help states like North Carolina dealing with unregulated chemicals that are causing serious concerns about drinking water, Governor Roy Cooper said today.
The EPA today rolled out an action plan for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), something that Gov. Cooper and other states have urged the agency to do. However, the plan does not go far enough or act quickly enough to address concerns about GenX and other unregulated compounds found in drinking water.
“North Carolina needs strong leadership from the EPA on water quality and I am disappointed that the agency’s action plan does not commit to setting standards, lacks detail on what research is planned on specific compounds like GenX, and seems to ignore the urgency of the problem,” Gov. Cooper said. “Today’s announcement contradicts promises made in public meetings in North Carolina last summer to work swiftly to set standards and recommendations for these compounds. People deserve to have confidence in the water they drink, and this weak action by the EPA negatively impacts state efforts to protect water quality and public health.”
PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), known collectively as PFAS, are unregulated chemical compounds that have been found in wells and public drinking water in North Carolina and other states, but much is still unknown about their safety.
Earlier this month, Governor Cooper wrote to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging the agency to move forward to set standards for the compounds.
The federal agency last year held public meetings in North Carolina and a number of other states to hear concerns about PFOA and PFOS and at the time said the agency would set science-based standards for the currently unregulated compounds.