In a letter written to the White House on Wednesday Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) said that, with a recent executive order Biden’s administration has frozen a “significant” action on Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) drinking water standards, and asked the administration to “promptly” publish the rule, informed The Hill.
The PFAS rule was affected by a memo from Jan. 20 released by White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, which froze all new and pending rules until the administration can review them.
“I have long taken a lead role in bipartisan efforts to address PFAS, and of significant importance to me is the timely action of [the Environmental Protection Agency] to promulgate a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act,” is written in the letter that Capito, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent to Klain.
A determination to regulate two PFSA substances, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) under the Safe Drinking Water Act on January 15 is finalized by the EPA, as noted in the letter.
“This final regulatory determination was a vital step toward ensuring the protection of public health across the nation, as well as to my constituents specifically. It still has not been published in the Federal Register,” wrote Capito.
The senator from West Virginia is a proponent for introduction of a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y) first brought up PFAS in the confirmation hearing for Biden’s nominee for EPA administration, Michael Regan on Feb. 3. Capito agreed with her saying she was “like-minded with her in terms of the restlessness of getting there and the delay” in implementing a PFAS drinking water standard.
“I would impress upon you how important I think that is to our nation and to our nation’s [youth], as they are living through the impacts of what this could have on drinking water,” said Capito. “So I would just ask a pledge to keep working with me and us on that.”