WASHINGTON – The Environmental Task Force today released a comprehensive report card on whether federal agencies are meeting deadlines to address health and environmental threats from the toxic.”forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
The Federal PFAS Report Card reveals the status of dozens of PFAS-related actions the Biden administration is pledging to implement, as well as the efforts Congress has instructed agencies to take.
The EWG found that 10 major agency milestones slated for completion this spring are overdue or still pending, and deadlines for 15 milestones are looming this summer or fall. Twenty-five of the actions proposed by the agencies do not include deadlines.
“No administration has committed to do more to address PFAS than the Biden administration, but time is running out for federal agencies to meet their deadlines,” said John Reeder, vice president of federal affairs at EWG. , who was previously Deputy Chief of Staff at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he also held several senior management positions.
The EPA has committed to nearly 50 actions, and the Department of Defense has committed or is required by law to take nearly 25. The Food and Drug Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture have each committed to take just Three SPFA Shares, even though food is thought to be a major source of PFAS exposure.
“EWG’s bulletin exposes the dramatic contrast between what is being proposed and implemented by the EPA and DOD and the very little being proposed by the FDA and USDA,” Reeder said.
The delays help reinvigorate efforts to tackle PFAS contamination, but more urgency is needed, Reeder said. “It will be years before PFAS are reduced from industrial releases, eliminated from household items and cleaned up at contaminated sites, including potentially hundreds of DOD facilities,” he said.
The House has twice passed the PFAS Action Act, which would set time limits for action. But the Senate has yet to produce its version of the bill.
Reeder urged the House and Senate to quickly set deadlines to limit industrial releases of PFAS, as proposed in the Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act.
“Federal agencies need — and affected communities deserve — real and transparent timelines,” Reeder said. “Communities have waited decades to act.”
The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that enables people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy, and unique educational tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.