Water Expert Discusses Slowdown in Federal Regulation of Drinking Water

It didn’t grab headlines, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision last month to back away from regulating a rocket fuel ingredient in drinking water points to a dramatic shift in federal oversight. The decision was followed by a proposal to slow the process for reviewing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and delayed action on hazardous perfluorochemicals, PFAS and PFOA, that have been found in various water systems.

Synthetic Chemicals in Soils are ‘Ticking Time Bombs’

A growing health crisis fueled by synthetic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in groundwater has garnered much attention in the last few years.

The reported levels could be “just the tip of the iceberg,” as most of the chemicals are still migrating down slowly through the soil, according to Bo Guo, University of Arizona assistant professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences.

Nearly 3,000 synthetic chemicals belong to the PFAS class. They have been used since the 1940s in food packaging, water-resistant fabrics, non-stick products, pizza boxes, paints, firefighting foams and more, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.