ICYMI: Politico: Exclusive: Trump EPA won’t limit 2 toxic chemicals in drinking water
January 29, 2019
The Trump administration continues to put our public health at risk. Trump’s EPA will reportedly fail to limit two toxic chemicals in America’s tap water that have been linked to cancers and other ailments.
Politico: Exclusive: Trump EPA won’t limit 2 toxic chemicals in drinking water
The decision could complicate acting agency chief Andrew Wheeler’s hopes for Senate confirmation.
By Annie Snider
The Trump administration will not set a drinking water limit for two toxic chemicals that are contaminating millions of Americans’ tap water, two sources familiar with the forthcoming decision told POLITICO.
The expected move is yet another sign of the administration’s reluctance to aggressively deal with the chemicals, which have been used for decades in products such as Teflon-coated cookware and military firefighting foam and are present in the bloodstreams of an estimated 98 percent of Americans. And it comes less than a year after the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency faced criticism for delaying publication of a health study on the chemicals, which a White House aide had warned could trigger a “public relations nightmare.”
EPA’s decision means the chemicals will remain unregulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to sources familiar with a still-unreleased draft plan that acting administrator Andrew Wheeler signed off on in late December. That means utilities will face no federal requirements for testing for and removing the chemicals from drinking water supplies, although several states have pursued or are pursuing their own limits.
The decision could complicate Wheeler’s confirmation to lead the agency on a full-time basis. Both Republicans and Democrats have pressed EPA to do more to keep the chemicals out of drinking water and raised alarms about past political interference from the administration.
The chemicals, known as PFOA and PFOS, have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, hypertension and other ailments. Major chemical companies like 3M as well as the Defense Department would face billions of dollars in liability from aggressive efforts to regulate and clean up the chemical, which has contaminated groundwater near hundreds of military bases and chemical plants.