FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2023
Steven Fantes, Public Affairs Manager
617-817-1297 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Senior EPA Water Expert Responds to EPA’s
Proposed National Drinking Water Standards for PFAS
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed national drinking water standards for six PFAS chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), and a mixture of four other PFAS chemicals. The proposed PFAS National Drinking Water Regulation is a significant milestone in EPA’s efforts to safeguard the country’s drinking water.
The following statement is from Dr. Elizabeth Southerland, a volunteer with the Environmental Protection Network and former Director of Science and Technology in the EPA’s Office of Water:
“Today, EPA proposed national drinking water standards for six PFAS “forever chemicals.” This proposed rule is an historic milestone under the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act for two reasons. First, when finalized, these will be the first new standards since EPA updated the arsenic standard in 2001. Second, EPA is proposing to regulate four PFAS chemicals that co-occur in drinking water as a mixture, avoiding the need for individual drinking water standards for each chemical. The mixture approach requires treatment when one or more of these chemicals at a drinking water facility alone or in combination pose a health risk. This is a critically needed approach for PFAS forever chemicals that include more than 12,000 individual compounds. EPA is also proposing that PFOA and PFOS must each be at or below analytical detection levels. This is the most stringent standard EPA can impose and is based on the best available science and the detection limit of EPA’s analytical method. The public health benefits of these protective drinking water standards dwarf the costs of achieving them, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law offsets those costs with billions of dollars for small or disadvantaged communities to address PFAS.”
Dr. Southerland is available to speak to the media about the updated standards and their effects on public health and the environment.
About Dr. Elizabeth Southerland: Dr. Southerland was with the EPA for 30 years, serving as Director of Science and Technology in EPA’s Office of Water before retiring in 2017. She has remained active on environmental issues as a member of the Environmental Protection Network and regularly testifies before Congress about clean water issues, PFAS, and emerging, unregulated contaminants.
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NETWORK
Founded in 2017, the Environmental Protection Network (EPN) harnesses the expertise of more than 550 former EPA career staff and confirmation-level appointees from Democratic and Republican administrations to provide the unique perspective of former regulators with decades of historical knowledge and subject matter expertise.