Clean Water Current

NACWA Outlines Critical Data Gaps in Federal Strategic Plan on PFAS

Aug 31, 2022

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently requested input from interested parties to identify data gaps in research and development (R&D) regarding several aspects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Comments received through this request for information (RFI) will be used to inform a strategic plan for federal coordination of PFAS R&D. 

Noting that any regulation that aims to reduce PFAS is only as appropriate as the scientific data used to inform the regulatory action, NACWA responded to OSTP’s request by outlining key scientific and other data gaps that should be filled prior to developing a comprehensive federal strategic plan on PFAS. Closing scientific gaps in risk assessment is imperative to gain a better understanding of the concentrations of these chemicals, individually or aggregated, that pose an actual risk to public health and the environment, as well as the fate and transport pathways by which these chemicals move in the environment.   

The recent EPA announcement on the proposed listing of two of the most widely used PFAS as hazardous substances under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) makes filling these data gaps that much more critical. NACWA remains committed to pursuing the "polluter pays" approach to addressing PFAS that places full liability on the manufactures of the chemicals, not clean water utilities, and will be advancing that message in its continued advocacy with the White House and EPA on this critical topic.

If members have questions, please contact Danielle Cloutier, NACWA’s Legislative Affairs Director.

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