WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, participated in a full committee hearing on implementing the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, a cornerstone of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
ON NEED FOR LIABILITY PROTECTIONS FOR PASSIVE RECIEVERS OF PFAS: “CERCLA liability creates a significant risk for passive receivers. In other words, you didn't create it but it comes into your water system. Often you're required to receive or treat PFAS due to state or federal regulations. Water and wastewater utilities are particularly vulnerable [to] CERCLA liabilities due to the essential and growing role and receiving and filtering PFAS…There are…treatment technologies to remove it and it gets in granulated carbon filters but it has to be transported then and disposed of, used filters as you put new filters in. Wastewater utilities must contend with both industrial and residential contributors of PFAS upstream, the ladder of which poses unique challenges due to the prevalence, as we talked, of PFAS in many consumer products."
ON IMPORTANCE OF CLEAR RISK COMMUNICATION: “My last question is around risk communication. We had an incident in East Palestine, Ohio where there was a train derailment. And great concern expressed by me and many others about the impacts in the water systems of the chemicals in the hazardous materials that were being carried in the train and how it was handled. And we had a hearing on it. And one of the things that came out of the hearing was to risk communication, not just EPA, but I'll use EPA in this case because you deal you all deal with EPA, in this case was not as good as it could be. And so if you're in a community that is at risk because of an accident or weather event, whatever, I'm sure you've all dealt with this. I've had this in my own community. To have appropriate risk communication is absolutely essential. In other words, don't say something and take it back or don't say something and then expand on it 24 hours later. React immediately, use science, all these things.”
NEED FOR CLEAR RISK COMMUNICATION WHEN DEALING WITH PFAS, INCIDENTS OF WATER CONTAMINATION: “I think that's really important particularly with PFAS. You see it in the media all the time, different types of reports. And EPA has not set the drinking level, which I've been pressing them for for probably now three years to do this. But they did set a level that's untestable. So if they come back with a drinking level that's higher than the level they put out last year that could have some risk to it, here you have confused messages to people who find this in their water systems. And so we got to get this right.”
Click HERE to watch Round 1 of Ranking Member Capito’s questions.
Click HERE to watch Round 2 of Ranking Member Capito’s questions.
Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening statement.
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