Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined a group of 30 Senators in a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler requesting he provide an updated timeline for when the EPA will implement commitments made in the agency’s plan to combat exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The EPA released its plan – the PFAS Action Plan – more than year ago and has yet to implement many of the commitments outlined in the strategy.
“As you are aware, communities across the country are struggling to respond to the widespread issue of PFAS contamination. The human health risks from this class of chemicals, which include birth defects, various forms of cancer, and immune system dysfunction, are still being examined, and the uncertainty has caused great concern among our constituents,” the senators wrote.
In March 2019, Brown joined legislation to declare PFAS as hazardous substances under the EPA Superfund law. The designation would allow federal funds to be used to clean up groundwater contamination due to PFAS spills and mandate responsible parties report spills of PFAS and be held liable for cleanup.
In December, Brown secured provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act – which was signed into law – that would include tougher standards to crack down on PFAS contamination and require the DOD to be more transparent with communities affected by the contamination.
Last year, Brown also blasted EPA officials for releasing a PFAS Action Plan that fails to include an enforceable drinking water standard for PFOS/PFOA chemicals. Brown also joined a bipartisan letter calling on EPA to set federal drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS.
The letter can be read in full here.
In addition to Brown, the letter was also signed by Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jack Reed (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Angus King (I-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Patty Murray (D-WA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).