The Environmental Protection Agency has decided it’s time to do something about PFA’s.
PFA’s are hazardous chemicals used in firefighting foam and fire retardant material and have found their way into drinking water-especially around military bases.
The EPA has established a PFA’s Action Plan which outlines both short-term solutions and long term strategies–such as determining whether to establish safety thresholds for PFA’s.
Critics say it’s a good first step, but they say the EPA’s efforts don’t go far enough or move fast enough to protect communities from the health dangers of the chemicals.
EPA officials say the action plan is a result of tens of thousands of comments and listening sessions in states including North Carolina.
Experts used the input to develop the agencies first ever PFA’s action plan.
EPA Acting Administration, Andrew Wheeler says the plan includes examining whether PFA’s should be given a certain designation which would allow the EPA to address the problem.
“This important work will provide additional tools to help states and communities address existing contamination and recover cost from responsible parties,” said Wheeler.
Scott Faber with the environmental working group says the EPA’s plan lacks action and urgency.
“This plan which is just a plan has no deadlines to clean up the mess we’ve already created,” said Faber.
EPA officials say they’ll continue to research and monitor PFA’s and could decide whether to establish regulations for contaminant levels by the end of this year.
A group of lawmakers who sent a letter to the EPA, urging officials to set federal standards and also provide regular updates on the agencies efforts to address the PFA’s problems.