WASHINGTON – Two of the nation’s leading voices fighting for victims of PFAS contamination and pushing for federal action sharply rebuked the Environmental Protection Agency’s toothless “action plan” for the fluorinated chemicals, announced today by acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler.
Rob Bilott, an attorney who has represented tens of thousands of victims of PFAS contamination, and Ken Cook, president of EWG, have worked since 2001 to expose the decades of deception by DuPont, 3M and other chemical companies that have contaminated the blood of virtually all Americans. They issued the following statements in response to Wheeler.
“EPA has been promising to address the serious public health threat posed by PFAS chemical exposures for almost twenty years,” said Rob Bilott, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Cincinnati. “The last ‘action plan’ was released a decade ago – in 2009. Unfortunately, despite the promising public relations messaging released in connection with EPA’s latest PFAS ‘Action Plan,’ EPA is still not actually taking any concrete action on PFAS.”
“Promising to conduct more studies, investigations and further work toward formal regulatory action at some point in the future, is not the same as actually taking formal regulatory action now,” Bilott added. “It is well past the time for promises and future action plans – it is time for actual action by EPA.”
“The babies who were born when EPA first learned how DuPont had poisoned its workers and nearby communities with PFAS chemicals are now nearly 20 years old,” said EWG’s Cook. “They, millions of other Americans and their representatives in Congress have awoken to the enormity of this crisis and are clamoring for the EPA to take action. But what they heard today was just a long list of distant goals and empty promises, lacking the urgency and determination needed to combat the mounting threat to public health.”
“A crisis of this scale, affecting the drinking water supplies of an estimated 110 million Americans, demands leaders in the White House and at EPA take environmental and public health protection seriously,” said Cook. “And in President Trump and Wheeler, we could not be further from that.”
The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, 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.