Senators demand release of water safety report

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are leading a bipartisan group of 10 additional senators in demanding the administration release the results of a study regarding what levels of certain chemicals are safe in drinking water.

According to recent news reports, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to block the release of results from a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study on the toxic Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS are a class of toxic chemicals used in manufacturing that have been linked to a variety of cancers and serious health conditions.

According to recent media reports, the HHS study reportedly shows that exposure to these chemicals at levels lower than previously known to pose a danger to human health. While this study was finalized in January, EPA officials purportedly have been working to block the release of this report.

Meanwhile, many local communities, including Dayton, are working to address PFAS chemicals that have leaked into local water systems. The senators are demanding the agencies release the report so those communities have access to all the best science as they work to make sure their local water is safe.

“The EPA and other regulatory agencies must rely on the most up-to-date, factually-accurate information based on rigorous science to guide policy decisions and regulations designed to protect the health and well-being of our constituents. Given the wide use of PFAS and presence of these chemicals in communities across the U.S., it is critical that this report be released without delay and that the EPA act immediately to update its guidelines to ensure Americans are informed of and protected from the danger of exposure to these toxins,” the senators wrote in their letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

The bipartisan group of senators who sent this letter to the EPA and HHS demanding they release the report include Jack Reed (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).