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AWWA: Public health protection, scientific process, resources key in addressing PFAS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced its PFAS Action Plan at a news conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The plan is available on EPA’s website. AWWA CEO David LaFrance issued the below statement.

“AWWA appreciates that EPA prepared a PFAS Action Plan and looks forward to working with the Agency to advance public health protection in a timely fashion.

“AWWA is committed to both the protection of public health and sound scientific process. Water consumers in many communities are understandably concerned about PFAS. There is a great deal we do not yet know about potential health impacts from these substances.  As EPA moves forward, the Agency should focus on those actions that provide meaningful and effective risk reduction and are implementable.

“AWWA commends EPA for taking a comprehensive approach to PFAS risk management, seeking to limit exposure from drinking water and from other sources in the environment. We also applaud the creation of a risk communication toolbox to help communities understand and clearly articulate PFAS risks.

“EPA’s plan offers a path forward for communities that need help assessing and responding to their local PFAS concerns. It describes how it plans to use its authorities under Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act to protect America’s water supplies. To do so and to move forward quickly, EPA, especially EPA’s Office of Water, will need additional resources.

“As AWWA emphasized during the National Summit on PFAS, EPA should use its statutory tools to collect the information needed to make sound risk management decisions, utilize its regulatory tools to protect drinking water supplies from potentially harmful PFAS compounds and clearly communicate the risk posed by PFAS.”

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Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

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