Acting EPA Administrator
In an interview with ABC News Live, Wheeler called the so-called forever chemicals, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS, “a very important threat.”
Wheeler said the agency was moving forward with the process under the Safe Drinking Water Act that could lead to new safety thresholds for the presence of the chemicals in water, but he did not commit in the interview to setting standards.
The chemicals are found in consumer products ranging from fabrics, rugs and carpets, cooking pots and pans, outdoor gear, shampoo, shaving cream, makeup and even dental floss. Increasing numbers of states have found them seeping into water supplies.
Scientific studies have found “associations” between the chemicals and cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis and other health issues.
With communities around the country finding PFAS in their drinking water, Republican and Democratic lawmakers pressed Wheeler on PFAS during his confirmation process.
Capito was one of 20 senators writing Wheeler this month to demand mandatory limits on two phased-out versions of PFAS. They pressed Wheeler for other “immediate actions” to protect the public from other versions of the industrial compounds
Senate Minority Leader
Environmental groups expect the EPA response to do little to move the agency forward from its 2018 pledges to tackle PFAS.
“We know where the chemicals were manufactured, and we know a lot of the areas where they were actually used, so we’re going into those communities to see whether or not the water in those communities are contaminated, he said.
“It allows industry and federal agencies that should be actively cleaning up to sit back and say, ‘It’s a big mess, no one knows what the correct number is, so we won’t take any action until the confusion is settled,'” she said.
Flesher reported from