Attorney General Phil Weiser joins coalition of state AGs urging EPA to require public water systems to monitor for additional PFAS chemicals
May 12, 2021 (DENVER) –Attorney General Phil Weiser has joined a coalition of 19 state attorneys general urging the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) to expand monitoring and testing of drinking water for PFAS—more commonly referred to as “forever” chemicals—under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
In comments filed earlier this week with the EPA, the coalition of attorneys general express support for the agency’s revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule for public water systems, which would add 29 PFAS chemicals to the rule’s monitoring requirements, and would provide valuable data about the occurrence of PFAS contamination in public water supplies around the country.
The states also asked EPA to require monitoring for total PFAS, promptly validate an analytical method for total PFAS, advance environmental justice goals with monitoring, and lower the minimum reporting levels.
“As attorney general, I am committed to ensuring that Coloradans have access to safe drinking water. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to PFAS negatively affects human health, but currently there is no national requirement that all public water systems test for PFAS levels and remediate any threat to public health. We need bold and data-driven leadership from the federal government to broadly regulate PFAS to protect public health and the environment,” said Weiser.
PFAS chemicals resist degradation in the environment and accumulate in the body. Those contaminants may be linked to serious adverse health effects in humans and animals. Epidemiologic studies have shown that potential adverse human health effects from exposure to some PFAS include increased serum cholesterol, immune dysregulation, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and kidney and testicular cancers. Exposure to certain types of PFAS is also associated with low birthweight in humans, suppressed immune system response, dyslipidemia, impaired kidney function, and delayed onset of menstruation.
Across the country, PFAS contamination is most often associated with military bases, firefighting training centers, civilian airports, and industrial facilities. PFAS chemicals tend to be persistent in the environment and have been used for decades as ingredients in firefighting foam and a large variety consumer goods. Some states with significant PFAS contamination are currently spending tens of millions of dollars to address the contamination in public drinking water systems, and to investigate numerous areas and sources of potential contamination.
In addition to Weiser, the letter includes the attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Read the comment letter here.