June 20, 2018


Washington, D.C. – Following efforts led by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will release a federal study about widespread water contamination from commonly-used chemicals. Senator Manchin led this effort after reports surfaced that at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blocked the release of the HHS report showing that far lower levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) threaten human health than previously known. The report will be available tomorrow morning here.

“All West Virginians deserve the comfort of knowing that their drinking water is clean and safe.  It is the obligation of the EPA and our government to ensure that the public has as much as information as possible. That’s why I led the fight to require the EPA and HHS to release the report – so I’m glad to hear that they are releasing the report today,” Senator Manchin said.

“In 2016, Parkersburg, Martinsburg and Vienna were faced with the daunting news that their citizens needed alternative drinking water sources due to unacceptable levels of PFOA in their drinking water systems.  And these issues persist in our state – particularly in Martinsburg. That’s why I worked to ensure that the Toxic Substances Control Act reform bill was enacted – we can’t let these substances slip through the cracks and devastate our communities. With the release of the report, we can take additional steps to address these issues in West Virginia and continue to pursue a definitive rule that sets maximum limits on these chemicals.”

In April, Senator Manchin joined 24 of his colleagues in a letter urging Administrator Pruitt to take swift action to protect communities in West Virginia with serious public health concerns related to groundwater contamination from PFAS. In May, he asked the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to release a study by the HHS Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) which contains updated conclusions regarding public health risks associated with certain levels of exposure to PFAS.  

This month, Senator Manchin demanded the administration release the results of a study regard what levels of certain chemicals are safe in drinking water. Also this month, Senator Manchin joined a group of Senators and filed an amendment to the NDAA to require HHS to publish the story.