WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group applauds Congress for passing a $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill today that includes $10 billion to clean up the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
“No one should have to worry about the safety of their water,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “This funding represents a historic commitment to finally get PFAS out of our drinking water.
“It provides an important down payment on what’s need to filter PFAS out of the water sent to our homes, schools and businesses,” Faber said.
The $10 billion dedicated funding for PFAS includes:
- $5 billion to help small and disadvantaged communities address PFAS in drinking water
- $4 billion to help drinking water utilities remove PFAS from drinking water supplies or connect well owners to local water systems
- $1 billion to help wastewater utilities address PFAS in wastewater discharges.
PFAS have been detected in nearly 2,800 communities, including 2,411 drinking water systems and 328 military sites, an EWG analysis found.
EWG estimates more than 200 million Americans are likely drinking PFAS-contaminated tap water. But most drinking water utilities are not required to test for the presence of PFAS or remove the toxic chemicals from water they serve.
“The funding in the bipartisan infrastructure deal will provide the resources water utilities need to begin to address the PFAS contamination crisis,” Faber said.
Passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill comes just days after the Environmental Protection Agency issued a “PFAS Strategic Roadmap” that outlines plans for accelerating the development of a final drinking water standard for the two most notorious PFAS, PFOA and PFOS. But the roadmap moves too slowly to address industrial discharges of PFAS.
“It’s more important than ever that the EPA quickly finalize a drinking water standard and move faster to set limits of industrial PFAS releases into our water supplies,” Faber said.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action. Visit www.ewg.org for more information.