Radhika Fox, principal deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Water, and Deb Szaro, acting regional administrator in Region 1 will convene and lead the EPA Council on PFAS.
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan issued a memorandum to EPA’s senior leadership, calling for the creation of a new EPA Council on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The council will be responsible for building on the agency’s ongoing work to understand and reduce the potential risks caused by PFAS.
“Coming from North Carolina, I’ve seen first-hand how devastating these chemicals can be for communities and the need for strong EPA leadership,” said Regan in the EPA news release. “That’s why today, I am calling on our senior leadership to form a new Council that will identify pragmatic approaches that deliver critical protections to the American public. As one of my top priorities as Administrator, EPA will prioritize partnerships and collaboration with our federal, state, tribal and local partners, and engage the public about the risk associated with these chemicals."
Radhika Fox, principal deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Water, and Deb Szaro, acting regional administrator in Region 1 have been tapped to convene and lead the EPA Council on PFAS, which will be comprised of senior EPA career officials from across the agency.
“I’m honored to Co-Chair the EPA Council on PFAS and to work collaboratively with colleagues across our national program offices and our regions to forge meaningful and sustained progress on PFAS,” said Radhika Fox, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “By taking a whole of EPA approach, the Council will accelerate scientific work, regulatory action, and voluntary approaches to address PFAS contamination and better protect the health of all Americans.”
The agency’s work on PFAS is based on the 2019 EPA PFAS Action Plan. Administrator Regan is directing the EPA Council on PFAS (ECP) to:
- Develop “PFAS 2021-2025 – Safeguarding America’s Waters, Air and Land,” a multi-year strategy to deliver critical public health protections to the American public. The ECP will make initial recommendations within 100 days of its establishment;
- Continue close interagency coordination on regional specific and cross-media issues to assist states, tribes, and local communities faced with significant PFAS challenges;
- Work with all national program offices and regions to maximize the impact of EPA’s funding and financing programs and leverage federal and state funds to support cleanup of PFAS pollution, particularly in underserved communities;
- And expand engagement opportunities with federal, state, and tribal partners to ensure consistent communications, exchange information, and identify collaborative solutions.
The ECP’s work will include updating a PFBS toxicity assessment. EPA has taken action to begin to develop a national primary drinking water regulation, to collect new data to improve EPA’s understanding of 29 PFAS, and to solicit data on the presence and treatment of PFAS in wastewater discharges.