EWG applauds bill to limit PFAS discharges into water

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group today applauded Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) for leading efforts to limit discharges into drinking water supplies of the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

The Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act would set deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency to issue standards that polluters must meet before they discharge PFAS waste into surface water or send PFAS wastewater to waste treatment plants.

PFAS are a large family of fluorinated chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, immune system damage and other serious health problems.

Although PFAS have been detected in the drinking water of more than 2,300 communities, thousands of manufacturers can still legally discharge them into the water.

Chemical, electroplating and paper companies, tanneries, and rugmakers are among the companies that likely discharge PFAS.

“To address the PFAS contamination crisis, we need to turn off the tap of PFAS pollution,” said EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh.

The Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act would require the EPA to quickly set standards for nine industry categories. The agency is currently considering the steps needed to address pollution from PFAS manufacturers.

“The EPA needs to move faster to set limits for all of the industry categories that make the PFAS pollution problem even bigger,” Benesh 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.

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