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Landmark EPA Regulations Will Make Drinking Water Safer in North Carolina

Source: Press Release

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a historic step to safeguard drinking water across the United States by setting the first-ever national limits on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often referred to as “forever chemicals.” These man-made chemicals have been linked to various health problems and have contaminated water supplies nationwide, including North Carolina.

Eleven public water systems in North Carolina have detected levels of the toxic compound PFAS above the EPA’s maximum contaminant levels of 4 parts per trillion. Communities in Eastern North Carolina have been heavily impacted by the contamination as the manufacturing company Chemours is one of the main sources of these compounds. The company’s Fayetteville Works Plant, on the Cumberland-Bladen county line, discharged PFOS, GenX and other types of PFAS into the Cape Fear River for years.

The EPA’s new regulations mark a significant milestone in protecting public health. For decades, communities have grappled with the presence of PFAS in their drinking water, raising concerns about potential health risks. The EPA’s decisive action establishes a much-needed national framework to address this widespread issue.

“President Biden believes that everyone deserves access to clean, safe drinking water, and he is delivering on that promise,” said Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The first national drinking water standards for PFAS marks a significant step towards delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice, protecting communities, and securing clean water for people across the country.”

While the new regulations are a cause for celebration, Implementing these changes will come at a cost, and ensuring all communities have the resources to comply is crucial. Fortunately, North Carolina is expected to receive federal funding to help meet the new standards as the Biden administration also announced an additional $1 billion to help states fund infrastructure upgrades to comply with the new rules.

The fight for clean drinking water is not over. However, the EPA’s landmark regulations represent a critical step forward. By establishing these national limits, the Biden administration is sending a clear message that the safety of our drinking water is a top priority.

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