WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) sent four letters to the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) seeking all documents and communications between the organizations related to the interagency review of EPA’s February 2019 “PFAS Action Plan” and EPA’s long-awaited groundwater cleanup guidelines for PFAS.
Senator Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), Senator Murray serves as the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Reed is the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee (SASC) and Senator Peters serves as the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC).
“We write to request information related to EPA’s nationwide PFAS Action Plan and other related actions,” the ranking members wrote. “The PFAS Action Plan, which EPA released on February 14, 2019, did not include a commitment to promulgate a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS. EPA also failed to release its groundwater cleanup guidelines for PFOS and PFOA in tandem with the PFAS Action Plan, despite announcing that it would complete these guidelines by Fall, 2018.”
The ranking members continued, “It is also our understanding that the groundwater cleanup guidelines for PFOS and PFOA have been held up at OMB since August 2018 due to an interagency dispute related to how stringent the guidelines should be. Finally, we have also been informed that in at least one instance, the United States Air Force has diverted funds intended for a site cleanup of non-PFAS contamination to PFAS-related cleanup efforts.”
PDFs of the four letters can be accessed below:
- Letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, led by Senator Carper
- Letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, led by Senator Reed
- Letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, led by Senator Murray
- Letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, led by Senator Peters