On Wednesday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a massive step forward in the fight to combat toxic PFAS pollution and protect clean drinking water.

First, the EPA is publishing four new drinking water lifetime health advisories for certain PFAS, using updated science to lower the accepted standard of PFAS concentration in water and further limiting the usage of PFAS in chemical and product manufacturing. Second, the EPA is making available $1 billion in grant funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to help communities that are on the frontlines of PFAS contamination. This will be the first of $5 billion through the IIJA that can be used to reduce PFAS in drinking water in communities facing disproportionate impacts from the forever chemicals.

“Though many organizations have been advocating for stronger PFAS standards, this progress wouldn’t be happening without the leadership of PFAS affected communities,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “We are glad to see that communities that have experienced the greatest harms from these toxic chemicals are being prioritized in terms of funding.”

In the Great Lakes region, local groups like Save Our H2O, the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network, the Huron River Watershed Council, and Need Our Water have been working tirelessly to protect their own communities from further PFAS contamination, and subsequently, brought regional and national attention to this issue. The Coalition thanks them for their continued leadership.

These efforts support the goals of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition’s legislative priorities.