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Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund co-authored and mobilized allies to sign a letter urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Biden Administration to propose first-ever federal drinking water standards for some PFAS chemicals. EPA was supposed to publish the proposal in late 2022 but has yet to do so.

The following letter, signed by over 100 environmental organizations, urges Administration officials and EPA to move forward which will lead to a public comment period and then finalization of Safe Drinking Water Act limits.

January 19, 2023
The Honorable Shalanda Young
Director, Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Director Young:

The undersigned organizations strongly urge the Biden administration to propose standards to protect drinking water from ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS, as required by the federal Safe Drinking Water
Act (SDWA). The administration promised to propose standards for PFOA and PFOS, two widespread and harmful PFAS chemicals, by the “Fall 2022” but has missed the deadline.

Further delay in setting protective standards for PFOA and PFOS is unwarranted and unacceptable. These ‘forever chemicals’ have circulated in the environment for decades, and as many as 200 million Americans could have unsafe levels of PFOA and PFOS in their drinking water. EPA’s own assessments show that PFAS are toxic at very low levels and have been linked to serious health problems, including increased risk of cancer and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. EPA’s recently revised Health Advisory Levels for PFAS in drinking water indicate that some negative health effects may occur with concentrations of PFOA or PFOS that are well below one part per trillion.

SDWA standards are a crucial line of defense against PFAS exposure. While the Biden administration has proposed steps to make polluters pay for past contamination and announced plans for future controls on PFAS discharges “upstream,” these ‘forever chemicals’ will continue to pose unacceptable risks to water supplies for decades. At a minimum, EPA must establish protective, enforceable limits on PFOA and PFOS in tap water. EPA should also consider requiring the use of water treatment technologies to reduce not only PFOA and PFOS, but a wide range of other harmful PFAS as well. Technologies are available to  effectively reduce PFAS and improve drinking water safety. In its formal determination to regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, the EPA stated that it “is committing to making regulatory determinations in advance of the next SDWA deadline for additional PFAS,” and we urge the agency to move forward expeditiously with regulating additional PFAS and controlling the full class of PFAS in tap water.

We strongly support the Biden administration’s efforts to tackle PFAS. However, the delay in proposing SDWA standards for PFAS leaves millions of people at risk and threatens to derail the President’s promise to protect drinking water for all Americans. We urge EPA to protect our nation’s drinking water supplies, and the health of impacted communities nationwide, from the threat of PFAS contamination without further delay.

Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP)
Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water
California Communities Against Toxics
California Environmental Voters
Cease Fire Campaign
Center for Environmental Health
Center for Public Environmental Oversight
Children's Environmental Health Network
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB)
Clean Cape Fear
Clean Water Action
Community Action Works
Community Water Center
Concerned Citizens for Clean Drinking Water
Conservation Alabama
Consumer Reports
Defend Our Health
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Democracy Green
Ecology Center
Environment America Research & Policy Center
Environmental Advocates NY
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Justice Task Force Tucson
Environmental Working Group
Fairfield Water Concerned Citizens
Fight for Zero
Freshwater Future
Great Lakes PFAS Action Network
Green Science Policy Institute
Groundwork Elizabeth
Healthy Schools Now (NJ)
Highland Dairy
Hip Hop Caucus
Hispanic Access Foundation
Hispanic Federation
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Isles, Inc
League of Conservation Voters
Learning Disabilities Association of Alabama
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Learning Disabilities Association of Arkansas
Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia
Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois
Learning Disabilities Association of Maine
Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan
Learning Disabilities Association of Minnesota
Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey
Learning Disabilities Association of New York
Learning Disabilities Association of Oklahoma
Learning Disabilities Association of Pennsylvania
Learning Disabilities Association of South Carolina
Learning Disabilities Association of Utah
Learning Disabilities Association of Virginia
Learning Disabilities Association of West Virginia
Learning Disabilities Association of Wisconsin
Linda S. Birnbaum, Scientist Emeritus and Former Director, NIEHS and NTP
Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition
Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water
Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Milwaukee Riverkeeper
Moms for a Nontoxic New York
Move Past Plastic, MPP
Nantucket PFAS Action Group
National PFAS Contamination Coalition
National Stewardship Action Council
Natural Resources Defense Council
NC League of Conservation Voters
Need Our Water (NOW)
Newburgh Clean Water Project
NJ Work Environment Council
Ohio Environmental Council
Peconic Baykeeper
PfoaProject NY
Safer States
Save Our Water (SOH2O)
SC Idle No More, SCIAC
Seaside Sustainability
Seneca Lake Guardian
Seventh Generation
Sierra Club
Songbird Farm
Testing for Pease
The Green Majority
Three Rivers Waterkeeper
United Sludge Free Alliance
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
Waterkeeper Alliance
Waterway Advocates
Wisconsin Green Muslims
Women's Voices for the Earth
Your Turnout Gear and PFOA
Zero Waste Washington

Identical letter sent to Chair Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality, and
Administrator Michael Regan, Environmental Protection Agency

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