Rural Issue

EPA proposes national drinking water standard

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed its first-ever national drinking water standard.

Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, says the agency’s rule would address the contamination of PFAS – or ‘forever chemicals’ – in drinking water.

“Public water systems will be monitoring these chemicals that if they reach a certain level they will have to notify the public about exceeding the level, and then they will have to take steps to reduce the levels in the water supply systems,” Mallory said.

PFAS are a set of human-made chemicals that can cause cancer and other severe health problems.

Mallory tells Brownfield the new standard would help improve water quality in rural communities.

“We have a number of other activities the administration is implementing that are focused on helping the ag community,” she said, “to deal with any PFAS that’s in the soil or potentially affecting their livestock and other things.”

She says the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $9 billion over five years to help communities reduce contamination levels in drinking water.

The EPA hopes to finalize the rule by the end of the year.

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