The Environmental Protection Agency is the nation’s top regulatory authority for drinking water. As such, CFPUA is pleased to see they have started to assess the risks that GenX and other PFAS may pose to human health.
This assessment is part of the PFAS Management Plan that EPA
announced this past summer. The values
announced this week are in draft form and open for public comment before a
final value is established.
Assessing the risks associated with man-made chemicals like
GenX takes time. It also requires the work of experts in many different fields,
from toxicologists to environmental scientists. As these experts continue their
work in assessing the impacts of various PFAS chemicals on human health and the
environment, we expect that more reports like this one will be released.
Unfortunately, this risk assessment process did not occur
before these compounds were released to the environment. While time is needed
to fully assess these compounds, our community continues to be exposed through
their presence in our source water. We do not yet fully understand if the
levels of PFAS in drinking water have the potential affect public health.
Because we do not fully understand their impact, and because
we know a proper risk assessment will take time, CFPUA wants to take all
precautions at our drinking water plant. We are currently in the process of
implementing a temporary solution to reduce PFAS levels, while we design a
permanent GAC facility for the Sweeney Plant. We expect the interim solution to
begin reducing levels of PFAS by the end of this month.
We will continue to monitor levels of these compounds in our
source water and work with our partners at NCDEQ and NCDHHS to understand their
impacts on public health and regulatory compliance. We encourage EPA to
continue their work and to assess the health impacts of all PFAS found in the
Cape Fear River.