Biden Sets Drinking Water Limits

( – In a move that could further signal a renewed effort to control what Americans do down the line, the Biden administration announced a severe regulatory measure on drinking water.

Specifically, the administration decided to put strict limitations in place on certain persistent chemicals, commonly known as “forever chemicals,” in drinking water.

This directive orders utility companies to minimize the levels of these toxic substances to the lowest detectable measurement and is allegedly expected to reduce exposure for 100 million Americans and potentially prevent thousands of related health issues, including cancer.

The rule marks the first national mandate regarding drinking water standards specifically for PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

These compounds are known for remaining in the environment for long periods of time and are linked to many health concerns.

In the aftermath, environmental and health advocates praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to imposing strong proposed limits.

However, utility providers raised concerns about the financial implications of installing advanced treatment technologies, which they argue will certainly increase water costs for consumers.

The EPA’s rule is a huge step to address PFAS and marks the agency’s most critical action to date on these pollutants.

Due to their non-degradable nature, these chemicals are linked to severe health outcomes such as low birth weights and kidney cancer and have been historically used in a series of consumer products.

Meanwhile, experts like North Carolina State University professor Scott Belcher pointed to the collective risk posed by even minuscule PFAS concentrations over time, which highlights that regulatory intervention is important.

Under the new regulations, strict caps are placed on two prevalent PFAS types, PFOA and PFOS. This limits their presence in drinking water to 4 parts per trillion, with additional restrictions on other PFAS compounds.

The mandate also demands that water providers run tests and notify the public when unsafe levels are detected.

Although utility groups have voiced concerns about the challenges and potential costs for consumers, the initiative has been met with support from both environmental advocates and affected families.

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