Carper, Peters release GAO showing need to address PFAS contamination

Delaware News Desk
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released on March 1 a report by the Government Accountability Office that shows the federal government needs to take further action to clean up and prevent contamination from per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released on March 1 a report by the Government Accountability Office that shows the federal government needs to take further action to clean up and prevent contamination from per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. 

The report found that the Donald Trump administration made limited progress in protecting communities and drinking water resources from exposure to these toxic “forever chemicals.” Much of the progress identified in the report was due to Congressional efforts. Carper and Peters originally requested the report in 2019 to obtain information about ongoing federal agency efforts to address the PFAS contamination crisis and to ensure the effective usage of taxpayer dollars. 

“Communities across the country are impacted every day by exposure to PFAS chemicals in their drinking water,” said Carper. “This report lays out where we stand on addressing this critical issue affecting millions of Americans, and its findings are crystal clear: we have a lot of work to do. I’ll be continuing the fight in Washington to ensure all families have access to clean water.” 

The report found that the Environmental Protection Agency made some progress on three out of six regulatory actions laid out in a 2019 plan to address the PFAS crisis. This includes measures required by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, such as ensuring that EPA review imported products containing PFAS chemicals before entering the U.S. However, the report also found that under the previous administration, EPA failed to complete three additional regulatory actions laid out in their plan to combat these harmful chemicals. This includes failing to make progress on efforts to designate PFAS as a hazardous substance. 

The report can be found at bit.ly/2ZZwXCh.