On June 15, 2022, the EPA released updated drinking water health advisories for certain PFAS chemicals. The update drastically reduced the levels of PFAS considered safe in drinking water. The limits dropped from 70 ppt to 0.004 ppt for some PFAS. Essentially the EPA stated that any detectable level of PFAS in drinking water is too much.
The Chemical Industry Lobby Goes on the Offensive
On July 30, 2022, one of the largest lobbying groups for the chemical industry, the American Chemical Council, filed a lawsuit against the EPA in the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia to overturn the health advisories. Health Advisories are not binding and are not enforced by the EPA. Nonetheless, the chemical industry seeks to water down the EPA’s protection of public health from the documented dangers of PFAS contamination [link to PFAS article on blood testing].
Prepping for the Big Showdown: EPA Regulation
The Chemical Industry is attacking non-binding advisories because they believe they will have broad implications on regulation of PFAS chemicals at the state and federal levels. The American Chemical Council seeks to lessen the liability of PFAS manufacturers. They aim to do this by downplaying the risks of PFAs contamination to public health and the environment.
Industry Couches it’s Disdain for Liability in Terms of “Best Available Science”
There is no doubt, the chemical industry is facing billions upon billions of dollars in liability for PFAS contamination. PFAS is everywhere and they know it. [https://www.stagliuzza.com/news/am-i-being-exposed-to-pfos-pfas]. States are starting to crack down on PFAS contamination and the federal government will soon issue mandatory PFAS regulations. Already citizens, businesses, and governmental entities have filed hundreds of lawsuits against PFAS manufacturers. The chemical industry is sharpening its attacks early in anticipation of strict limits for PFAS in drinking water.
In the face of inevitable regulation, the American Chemical Council states that it supports the development of drinking water standards for PFAS based on “the best available science”. However, they claim that the recently issued advisories “reflect a failure of the Agency to follow its accepted practice for ensuring the scientific integrity of its process.”
The American Chemical Council Complains the EPA’s Health Advisories are Below Detectable Limits
The American Chemical Council attacks the fact that EPA’s new health advisories are below the limits of detection for current testing methods. The American Chemical Council also criticizes the EPA for utilizing “toxicity assessments that are currently being reviewed by EPA’s Science Advisory Board.” The American Chemical Council has not shown the toxicity assessments are flawed, but rather suggest the benefits of PFAS in commercial products. The underlying issue for the chemical industry appears to be the health advisories recommends removal of ALL PFOA/PFOS from drinking water. And someone has to pay for the cleanup.
PFAS Manufacturers Don’t Want to Pay to Clean Up their Mess
PFAS manufacturers are afraid they will be required to fund the removal of all detectable levels of PFAS contamination from thousands and thousands of drinking water systems across the country. If they are, it would wipe out a large portion of the billions of dollars those companies have made pushing PFAS in the market place. Stag Liuzza is doing our part to make that a reality. If you are in charge of the decision-making process or operation of a public or private water system, please contact us at 504-593-9600, for a free consultation.