U.S. Senators from Minnesota and Wisconsin are among a group of 30 of their peers to sign a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler requesting an updated timeline for when the USEPA will implement commitments made to combat exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of Minnesota, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin signed the letter.
In the letter, the Senators wrote: “As you are aware, communities across the country are struggling to respond to the widespread issue of PFAS contamination. The human health risks from this class of chemicals, which include birth defects, various forms of cancer, and immune system dysfunction, are still being examined, and the uncertainty has caused great concern among our constituents.”
The Senators closed their letter with a request that the USEPA provide an update on the status of every commitment made in the PFAS Action Plan, as well as an update on the timeline for executing the priorities included in the strategy, saying “The health and environmental threats posed by PFAS are significant. Communities across America demand that the EPA help protect them from PFAS exposure. They deserve the confidence that their water is safe and free of harmful levels of PFAS contamination.” The entire letter is available here.
In addition to Senators Klobuchar, Smith and Baldwin, the letter was signed by Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Angus King (I-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Patty Murray (D-WA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The USEPA originally released its PFAS Action Plan in February 2019. In January 2020, the USEPA issued its Interim Recommendations for Addressing Groundwater Contaminated with Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) under federal cleanup programs, which is listed as a priority in the Action Plan for PFAS.