March 20, 2019

Manchin Leads Letter To DOD and EPA Pressing For Answers On Reports Of Efforts To Weaken Contamination Standards For PFAS

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led a group of sixteen Senators in sending a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, requesting the agencies to release communications they’ve had with the White House, and with each other, regarding the establishment of federal drinking water standards for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and groundwater pollution guidelines related to these chemicals. The Senators’ letter comes in response to recent media reports that the Department of Defense (DOD) is requesting the White House to adopt substantially weaker guidelines for groundwater pollution caused by PFAS than those suggested by the EPA.

The Senators wrote, “If this reporting is accurate, the DOD’s actions may endanger the health of servicemembers and families who live and work near the 401 military installations where there are known or suspected releases of PFAS chemicals in the drinking water or groundwater. We urge you to act in the best interests of impacted communities and support efforts to develop groundwater and drinking water standards that will protect the public from the health hazards associated with PFAS contamination.”

Their letter can be read in full here.

The letter was also signed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Bob Casey (D-PA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Gary Peters (D-MI).