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Gov. Cooper Calls on EPA to Set Standards for Unregulated Chemicals to Better Protect Drinking Water

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RALEIGH: Federal environmental experts need to set standards for chemicals that are causing serious concerns about drinking water in North Carolina and across the country, Governor Roy Cooper wrote to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler today.

Recent reports indicate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is declining to set standards for chemical compounds known as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). The compounds, which include GenX, have been found in wells and public drinking water in North Carolina, but much is still unknown about their safety.

In a letter to Acting Administrator Wheeler, Gov. Cooper wrote, “It is vital to the public trust that all Americans be confident in their access to safe drinking water. The EPA’s failure to act robs them of that peace of mind.”

The Environment and Public Works Committee of U.S. Senate is set to vote on advancing Wheeler’s confirmation as EPA Administrator next week.

The letter renews Gov. Cooper’s request first made last year that the EPA establish standards for PFOA and PFOS.

The federal agency last year held public meetings in North Carolina and a number of other states to hear concerns about PFOA and PFOS and at the time said the agency would set science-based standards for the currently unregulated compounds.

Gov. Cooper today called on the EPA to partner with states to better understand and set standards for PFOA and PFOS.

“It is our shared responsibility to protect drinking water for the people who rely on it,” Gov. Cooper said in the letter.

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