Report Details Federal Government’s Progress in Addressing PFAS Contamination


An environmental advocacy group says a year after President Joe Biden’s administration announced plans to tackle PFAS pollution, progress has been made but more action is needed.

The Environmental Task Force tracks federal actions to protect communities from PFAS chemicals. Each year, it publishes a “bulletin” examining these actions. He published this newsletter of the year In Monday.

PFAS chemicals, also called forever chemicals because they degrade slowly under normal environmental conditions, lead to increased risks of certain cancers and have been linked to liver damage, reduced fertility and risk increased asthma and thyroid disease.

There are thousands of types of PFAS substances. These chemicals have various applications and are found in cosmetics, non-stick cookware, carpets, food packaging and other everyday items. PFAS chemicals have also been used in hydraulic fracturing in oilfields.

Related: Report documents use of PFAS in hydraulic fracturing in New Mexico

As of June, there were more than 2,800 identified sites contaminated with PFAS in the United States and two of its territories, according to the EWG. This number is expected to increase as more data is collected, including data from public drinking water systems.

In New Mexico, this includes the four military bases. PFAS contamination at military bases has been caused by firefighting foam used during training exercises. It contaminated aquifers and impacted farmers like Art Schaap, owner of Highland Dairy in Clovis.

Related: Groundwater contamination devastates New Mexico dairy – and threatens public health

The US Department of Defense is expected to submit a report this fall outlining a schedule for cleaning up PFAS contamination at military bases.

“This timeline is eagerly awaited by many communities that are suffering from PFAS contamination,” EWG Vice President of Federal Affairs John Reeder said Monday at a press conference.

Reeder said the federal government has achieved many of its goals for the first year following the Biden administration. PFAS Strategic Roadmap and more actions are to come.

These actions include finalizing a rule that requires drinking water systems to collect data on 29 PFAS chemicals as well as lithium, designating two types of PFAS as hazardous substances, issuing health advisories drinking water for two types of PFAS and updated advisories for two other types. , and request information from PFAS manufacturers. The US Environmental Protection Agency has also collected fish tissue to analyze different types of PFAS chemicals.

In August, federal agencies released a draft method for detecting 40 types of PFAS in the environment. This method should be finalized this fall.

The EWG is not the only agency monitoring the progress of the roadmap. The EPA will release a report this winter detailing efforts to achieve the goals set out in the roadmap.

Some of the areas that need more attention, according to EWG, include cosmetics and food packaging.


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