US sets standard for drinking water

US sets standard for drinking water

THE WHAT? The US Environmental Protection Agency is hoping to protect Americans from forever chemicals by setting out a standard for drinking water for the first time. The regulatory body has set aside a US$1 billion pot to help states test their public water systems for PFAS.

THE DETAILS According to a report published by Reuters, quoting a US Geological Survey, nearly half of US tap water samples contain PFAS. The new standard sets upper limits for PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS and HFPO-DA.

Public water systems have been given three years to complete monitoring for these chemicals and five years to reduce levels where they exceed the standard.

THE WHY? The rules are designed to reduce exposure to PFAS for 100 million people and improve health outcomes accordingly, Reuters reports.

Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement, per Reuters, “The first national drinking water standards for PFAS marks a significant step towards delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice, protecting communities, and securing clean water for people across the country.”