Biden administration initiates plan to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl pollution
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Biden administration initiates plan to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl pollution

The Biden administration launched a plan Monday to combat per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances. The plan was implemented after recommendations made by EPA Administrator Michael Regan, satisfying recent calls for regulation standards.

According to the EPA, PFAS are a potentially harmful group of manufactured chemicals. There are thousands of different PFAS, and they can be found in drinking water, food, shampoos, and a host of other commonly used products. Studies have shown that PFAS can cause developmental harms, cancers, high cholesterol, and other negative effects. The Biden initiative hopes to gain more insight into the potentially harmful effects of PFAS and regulate their use.

The first step in the plan is for the EPA to launch a “robust, new PFAS Roadmap.” The roadmap would help guide the agency’s activity over the next three years. Activity includes “a new national testing strategy to accelerate research…a proposal to designate certain PFAS as hazardous substances,” and to “broaden and accelerate the cleanup of PFAS.”

The plan also seeks the involvement of eight different executive agencies. Notable agencies include the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Each agency seeks to address the harm of PFAS, ranging from studies conducted by the CDC to USDA testing of PFAS impact on food items.

Much is still unknown about the impact of PFAS. Future administrations and scientists are tasked with continuing to research important data and regulations to protect against potentially harmful impacts.