Federal regulators have moved to delay assessment and action on chemicals that could contaminate drinking water.
It didn’t grab headlines, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision last month to back away from regulating a rocket fuel ingredient in drinking water points to a dramatic shift in federal oversight. The decision was followed by a proposal to slow the process for reviewing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and delayed action on hazardous perfluorochemicals, PFAS and PFOA, that have been found in various water systems.
Below, Richard Luthy, the Silas H. Palmer Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford, discusses how the EPA and individual states regulate water, risks for certain communities and related issues.
The EPA has signaled its intention to slow down its review process for chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act. To what extent have chemicals under this act been of concern for water supplies?
TSCA requires reporting of chemicals in commerce to ensure that they are being used safely. The drinking water industry, which has the burden of removing chemicals that may adversely impact drinking water sources, wants the EPA to use its authority under TSCA to prohibit or restrict the use of such chemicals. A better approach is preventing contaminants from entering drinking water sources in the first place.
Continue reading at Stanford University
Image via Stanford University