The US Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed the first-ever national drinking water standard for six cancer-causing chemicals known as polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The proposal is a major milestone in the EPA's strategy to tackle the human-made so-called "forever chemicals" found in water, air and food that have caused tens of thousands of illnesses around the country.
"EPA’s proposal to establish a national standard for PFAS in drinking water is informed by the best available science, and would help provide states with the guidance they need to make decisions that best protect their communities," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.
Changes under the new standard
Under the new standard, the agency will require public water systems to monitor for six PFAS chemicals, inform the public if PFAS levels exceed proposed standards in the drinking water supply, and take action to reduce PFAS levels.
The Biden administration has directed $10 billion to help communities reduce PFAS and other contaminants through passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.