Advocates urge New York to adopt stricter standards for drinking water
Environmental groups are urging New York to embrace a proposed federal standard for drinking water.
New York already has some of the strictest drinking water standards in the nation. PFAS, or forever chemicals, cannot exceed 10 parts per trillion. That is like 10 droplets of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool. But the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a standard of only 4 parts per trillion.
Adriene Esposito with Long Island-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment told the state Drinking Water Quality Council to get with the program.
“What good is achieving compliance if it's not the right standard?" Esposito asked. "If it’s not the right standard, that's gonna protect us from the myriad of health impacts associated with PFAS chemicals."
After hearing public comment Wednesday, the council will seek additional information on the costs involved before making any recommendations to the state Health Department.
It is estimated one million Long Islanders are drinking water with PFAS levels below the state standards, but above the EPA’s proposed standard.
According to the CDC, PFAS have been linked to cancer, and damage to the liver and immune system. The chemicals, which break down at a very slow rate, were once widely used in nonstick cookware, firefighting foam, food packaging and more.