Jun 15, 2018

Senate Committee Moves to Release Water Contamination Study

The committee has called for the release of an emerging contaminant PFAS study, which recommends a lower health advisory standard

Senate committee calls for EPA study released on emerging contaminant PFAS
Senate committee calls for EPA study released on emerging contaminant PFAS

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill that includes report language requiring the Trump Administration to release a key scientific study previously blocked. The study proposed safe levels for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals in drinking water at levels nearly six times lower than those the U.S. EPA recommends.

The amendment to the committee report, authored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. and approved in the Interior-Environmental spending bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to publish the study within two weeks of the bill becoming law. 

Internal emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and reported by Politico revealed that the top aides to EPA head Scott Pruitt, as well as Department of Defense and White House officials, sought to block the study’s release.

“Scott Pruitt and the White House clearly will do anything to hide information from the public on any number of issues, including the poisoned drinking water of 100 million Americans,” said Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber. “But lawmakers from both sides of the aisle understand full well how important clean drinking water is for their constituents and all Americans.”