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New Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water Will Protect Communities Across the U.S.

What Just Happened: The EPA adopted new rules that will help protect communities from being poisoned by six highly toxic PFAS chemicals via their drinking water.

Why It Matters: This is the first time the government has set a nationwide limit on PFAS, or “forever chemicals.” These chemicals are linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental harms, and immune system suppression – and they are present in the tap water of as many as 200 million Americans.

Earthjustice and our clients and partners have been fighting for years to get PFAS out of our lives. Our supporters submitted more than 40,000 comments to agencies asking for new drinking water standards. As we welcome this victory, we will continue to advocate for additional PFAS protections that communities urgently need.

PFAS Are a Threat to Human Health

Why We’re Celebrating the New Standards

  • Legally binding: The EPA’s new rules require water utilities to monitor for six kinds of PFAS that have contaminated water across the U.S. and take steps to ensure that they remain below the legal limit.
  • First of a kind: This first nationwide limit on PFAS is a critical step toward addressing the PFAS contamination crisis. It will reduce people’s exposure to serious health risks and prevent thousands of premature deaths.
  • Next steps: In 2021, the EPA unveiled a roadmap listing how it would curtail PFAS contamination in the United States. The new drinking water standards were one of many actions the agency promised to take. Earthjustice is tracking these actions as we push the EPA to strongly regulate these dangerous chemicals.

How Earthjustice Will Keep Fighting to Protect Communities From PFAS

PFAS contamination is a multi-faceted problem — so we’re pursuing multifaceted solutions. Here are just a few:

  • We took the Department of Defense to court over burning unused firefighting foam containing
  • We’re pushing to require the EPA to mandate cleanup of contaminated sites.
  • We are working with a coalition of organizations to push for strong state-level regulations of PFAS.
  • We have fought for greater transparency, including medical monitoring for communities exposed to PFAS contamination.
Drinking water
Drinking water is one of the most common routes of exposure to PFAS. PFAS have polluted the tap water of at least 16 million people in 33 states and Puerto Rico, as well as groundwater in at least 38 states. (Yipeng Ge / Getty Images)