For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency has put together an action plan to address PFAS— chemicals often found in plastics that have contaminated drinking water in communities such as Hoosick Falls.
Some Hoosick Falls residents impacted by PFAS say they are disappointed in the action plan and believe more should be done to help regulate the cancer causing chemicals.
The EPA action plan stated by the end of this year, the agency will propose a regulatory determination for a maximum contamination level for drinking water, a level that many were hoping would be already set.
“It wasn’t surprising but disappointing. We were looking for MCLs,” said Michael Hickey, who lives in Hoosick Falls. “That’s what everyone was hoping to happen today, and obviously, that didn’t occur and there was no clear answer to when that would occur going forward.”
NYPIRG’s Liz Moran agrees that more could have been done on a federal level.
“Right now, all that we have federally is guidance. We have a guidance level of 70 parts per trillion,” Moran explained. “This is astromoncally high for what is safe for public health.”
The plan also stated that The EPA has started the process of listing PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances, a process that those impacted by the contaminates said should have already been done.
“To say that there were no commitments, solid commitments, made with no solid dates or solid information about hazardous substance listings, and most specifically not setting drinking water MCLs to be protective of public health was insulting,” said Loreen Hackett, a life long resident of Hoosick Falls.
In a statement, Hoosick Falls Mayor Rob Allen said, “Everyone of these of these points falls painfully short of the actions needed to addresss a growing crisis that involves thousands of chemicals in the drinking water of millions of America.”