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Pingree Applauds First-Ever National Drinking Water Standard to Protect Mainers from PFAS Pollution

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Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the first-ever national, legally enforceable drinking water standard to protect communities from exposure to harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals.” Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the EPA, welcomed the action by the Biden-Harris Administration to protect Mainers and millions of Americans from forever chemical contamination in their drinking water.

“PFAS contamination is a widespread and urgent public health and environmental threat. This first-of-its-kind national drinking water standard is welcome news for Mainers—who are no strangers to the harmful and devastating impacts of forever chemical contamination,” said Pingree, a member of the Congressional PFAS Task Force. “Safe drinking water is fundamental to a healthy and thriving society, and EPA’s actions will help ensure our communities are protected from PFAS in their drinking water—reducing exposure and potentially saving thousands of lives. Critically, this announcement will be supported through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to help owners of private wells and public water systems ensure their water is safe to drink. 

“Drinking water contaminated with PFAS has plagued communities across this country for too long,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “That is why President Biden has made tackling PFAS a top priority, investing historic resources to address these harmful chemicals and protect communities nationwide. Our PFAS Strategic Roadmap marshals the full breadth of EPA’s authority and resources to protect people from these harmful forever chemicals. Today, I am proud to finalize this critical piece of our Roadmap, and in doing so, save thousands of lives and help ensure our children grow up healthier.”

In addition to today’s final rule, EPA announced nearly $1 billion in newly available funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help states and territories implement PFAS testing and treatment at public water systems and to help owners of private wells address PFAS contamination. This is part of a $9 billion investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help communities with drinking water impacted by PFAS and other emerging contaminants – the largest-ever investment in tackling PFAS pollution. An additional $12 billion is available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for general drinking water improvements, including addressing emerging contaminants like PFAS.


Pingree, who also serves on the House Agriculture Committee, has long championed PFAS clean-up and investments in clean drinking water. She proudly supported the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which included a $55 billion investment to replace lead service lines, $10 billion to address PFAS chemicals, and investments in water infrastructure across America, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.

In March 2023, Pingree and Rep. David Rouser (R-N.C.) reintroduced the Healthy Drinking Water Affordability Act, or the Healthy H2O Act, to provide grants for water testing and treatment technology directly to individuals and nonprofits in rural communities, including residents who rely on private wells.

In the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill signed by President Biden, Pingree secured $8 million for the EPA to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to further research on PFAS contamination in agriculture, as well as $5 million to assist farmers whose land has been contaminated by PFAS.

Addressing PFAS contamination is a top priority for Pingree as she and her House Agriculture Committee colleagues work to reauthorize the must-pass Farm Bill. In March, Pingree, alongside Senators Collins and Angus King (I-Maine) and Representative Jared Golden (D-Maine), reintroduced the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act, which would authorize grants for states to provide financial assistance to affected farmers, expand monitoring and testing, remediate PFAS, or even help farmers relocate.


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