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Environmentalists criticize water pollution plan, West Michigan congressman calls it first step

Environmental Protection Agency seal
Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental groups are criticizing the Trump administration's plan for dealing with highly toxic chemicals in drinking water, saying it's too little and too slow. However, a West Michigan congressman serving on the PFAS Task Force explains the Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Nationwide PFAS Action Plan is an important first step.

Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter says it's a "non-action plan designed to delay effective regulation" of the chemicals known collectively as PFAS, which are found in nonstick pans and other household items.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday in Philadelphia announced its "action plan" for dealing with PFAS in drinking water. The EPA calls the plan "comprehensive" and says it includes short- and long-term actions.

But the Sierra Club environmental organization says it will take years to carry the actions out.

Environment America clean-water advocate Bart Johnsen-Harris says the EPA plan lacks a clear, health-based limit on PFAS compounds in water supplies.

West Michigan U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga, a founding member of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, released this statement, “Even though the federal government has issued guidance of 70 parts per trillion, there is no qualified federal standard or defined maximum contaminant level for PFAS.” The Zeeland Republican adding, “I believe a federal standard should be created however this process needs to be determined by public health officials and scientists, not politicians. I encourage the EPA to continue working to develop federally enforceable standards with urgency.”

The National Ground Water Association industry group says the plan is an important step toward providing leadership on PFAS.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.