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WASHINGTON — Today, in a letter sent to governors of 56 states and territories, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to host a National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. to take action on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS is a category of man-made chemicals that have been widely used to make products because of their stain-resistant, waterproof and/or nonstick properties.
“EPA’s leadership summit will bring together stakeholders from across the country to build on the steps we are already taking and to identify immediate actions to protect public health,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Through this event, we are providing critical national leadership, while ensuring that our state, tribal, and local partners have the opportunity to help shape our path forward.”
“The states have been on the front lines of addressing PFAS issues, so ECOS is glad to see EPA recognize their urgency and engage the states early in its process,” said ECOS Executive Director Sambhav (Sam) Sankar. “Many states cannot take action on PFAS issues until EPA makes a regulatory determination, and all states would like to see continued federal research and leadership in this area.”
“It is critical that responding agencies at all levels are effectively communicating and coordinating efforts to protect the public’s health,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “We need a national effort to review the expanding scientific research on these contaminants, as well as possible responses and remediation. Having a national dialogue on this growing concern could be instrumental in establishing standards, protocols and best practices that will allow all state and federal partners to comprehensively address these contaminants across the country.”
The National Leadership Summit will be hosted in Washington, D.C. on May 22-23, 2018. During the summit, participants will work together to:
•Share information on ongoing efforts to characterize risks from PFAS and develop monitoring and treatment/cleanup techniques;
•Identify specific near-term actions, beyond those already underway, that are needed to address challenges currently facing states and local communities; and
•Develop risk communication strategies to address public concerns with PFAS.
Following the summit, EPA will travel to states with communities impacted by PFAS to further engage on ways the Agency can best support the work that’s being done at the state, local, and tribal levels. Using information from the National Leadership Summit and community engagement, EPA plans to develop a PFAS Management Plan for release later this year.
EPA has also updated the PFAS website to highlight ongoing work by the Agency, including the development of additional toxicity values, analytical methods, and treatment options for PFAS in drinking water. Details on the National Leadership Summit and community engagement events will be posted on the website as materials become available.
Additional information: https://www.epa.gov/pfas