News Recap for 5-14-21
The Hill: EPA Water Nominee Commits to ‘Enduring Solutions’ in Confirmation Hearing — In a confirmation hearing this week, Radhika Fox, President Biden’s nominee to be the EPA’s assistant administrator for water, pledged to “listen to all sides in order to find enduring solutions.” She restated her dedication to prioritizing action on PFAS, noting that she is co-chairing an executive council on the compound.
Hartford Business Journal: Tong, State AGs Call for Tougher Monitoring of ‘Forever Chemicals’ — Connecticut Attorney General William Tong this week joined with 19 other state AGs calling on the EPA to improve their monitoring of PFAS in public drinking water systems. The group requested more comprehensive testing and reporting of 29 separate PFAS compounds, and more targeted remediation for the communities most impacted.
MLive: 3M Sues Michigan, Seeks to Invalidate PFAS Drinking Water Rules — Chemical manufacturer 3M has sued the state of Michigan, claiming the state’s new drinking water limits for PFAS are flawed because they were created through a “rushed and invalid regulatory process.” The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the state’s drinking water limits and groundwater cleanup criteria for seven different PFAS, that went into effect last summer. 3M is pursuing a similar case in New Jersey, and has already lost a challenge in New Hampshire.
AP: New White House Panel Aims to Separate Science, Politics — The Biden White House is launching an effort to unearth past problems with the politicization of science within government and to tighten scientific integrity rules for the future. The panel will only look back as far as 2009—a decision some believe might hinder the group’s ability not to become politicized itself.
San Jose Spotlight: San Jose Firefighters Allege Gear Gave Them Cancer — A group of 49 current and former San Jose firefighters filed two lawsuits against 27 manufacturing companies including 3M and DuPont. The firefighters allege the suppressing foam they used and their protective equipment contained PFAS, which caused their cancer.
Science 2.0: Chemicals to Put Out Fires are ‘Riskier’ For Firefighters Than Actual Fires? Not According to Science — This commentary takes a critical look at a new study on PFAS exposure in firefighters, arguing that the study provides little evidence that PFAS exposure is correlated with cancer. The study, the author argues, is little more than fodder for lawyers to use to fuel tort cases.