Emily Bacha, Vice President of Public Affairs, December 2, 2019
Today, The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) jointly announced their per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Action Plan for Drinking Water. The plan follows Governor DeWine’s announcement in September for a statewide approach to monitor for these substances. Under the plan, the Ohio EPA will assess 1,500 public water systems serving approximately 90% of Ohio’s population, while ODH will assess a significant number of private water system serving much of the remainder of Ohio’s population.
Of particular note, the agencies will be focusing on PFAS beyond just PFOA and PFOS, including additional subcategories such as GenX, PFBS, PFHxS, and PFNA contaminants. This expanded scope is an important step in determining the full extent of PFAS contamination in Ohio. Finally, the agencies are taking significant precautions to ensure communities receive the necessary information for educating residents about the safety of their drinking water.
“Under the leadership of Governor DeWine, the Ohio EPA and ODH are taking tremendous steps forward in ensuring Ohioans are protected from the risks of PFAS in our drinking water,” said Chris Tavenor, Staff Attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council. “We look forward to further engagement with the agencies on how the advocacy community can best educate the public about the risks of these substances.”
“We encourage the Ohio EPA to build off of this effort, and to emulate other states across the country, and take action to fully regulate PFAS,“ Tavenor said. “Michigan, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and others have already taken action as federal action lags. The science is certain; we know the initial risks. In addition to robust assessment, the Ohio EPA should move forward on proposing drinking water standards and water quality criteria without waiting for direction from the United States EPA. Ohioans deserve regulatory protections both at the tap and from the source.”