Statement: EPA Administrator attends a roundtable discussion on the PFAS contamination in North Carolina
RALEIGH-- A roundtable hosted by Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08) was held this past tuesday in Fayetteville to discuss the ongoing PFAS crisis in North Carolina. The roundtable was attended by mostly Republican elected officials and Trump appointees including the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) administrator, Andrew Wheeler, and the press and public were not invited, severely hampering any public participation. Wheeler discussed the actions that the agency has been taking under the PFAS Action Plan to address these emerging chemicals. One of the main objectives of this roundtable was for Wheeler to introduce the new “Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge,” which is a plan for states and the EPA to find safe (i.e. non-incineration) methods to dispose of PFAS chemicals from aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) once they are collected.
Krista Early, Clean Water Advocate, Environment North Carolina:
“The roundtable that was conducted this week in Fayetteville is a continuation of the discussion that began four years ago with the discovery of PFAS contamination in the Cape Fear River and their effects. Environment North Carolina is glad that this discussion is happening but we have trouble seeing the actual work that Administrator Wheeler claims has been done. There are still no enforceable requirements for GenX and other related PFAS chemicals. North Carolinians are still at risk four years after this discussion started. We have to wonder at what point does studying and monitoring take a backseat to boldly addressing this crisis and providing assistance to those most affected?
“We agree that the PFAS chemicals currently made at the Chemours facility need to be phased out but that’s no longer the only problem. North Carolinians now have to think about the groundwater, surface water and water that is flowing directly to their public water utilities. Representative Hudson and Administrator Wheeler have continued this conversation for years. There needs to be concrete steps taken by the EPA to address the PFAS crisis.
“As a member of Congress, Representative Hudson has the capability to move legislation that addresses the PFAS crisis. North Carolinians need more than just a continuation of studies. They deserve to know they can drink their water without negative health impacts. Congressman Hudson has a chance to keep effective PFAS provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act in the next year. Environment North Carolina is glad this listening session happened but we are left hoping for bold and effective action."