Clean Cape Fear reacts to EPA’s proposal designating forever chemicals as hazardous substances

CAPE FEAR REGION, NC (WWAY) —The Environmental Protection Agency plans to designate some toxic compounds used since the 1940’s in cookware, carpets, and firefighting foams, as hazardous substances under the so-called “Superfund Law”.

That designation means releases of these so-called “forever chemicals” that meet, or exceed a certain quantity, would have to be reported to federal, state, or tribal officials.

Many of the chemicals have been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers, but remain in the environment because they do not degrade over time.  The changes are designed to help communities avoid or reduce contact with the potentially dangerous chemicals, and hold polluters accountable.

“We are still seeing these compounds in our drinking water today. If you live on city water, or you live in Brunswick County it’s in your water. If you live in the Wilmington area, certain people in the city of Wilmington are dealing with this. Designating PFOAS and PFOS as a hazardous substance now brings EPA into the fight that the state of North Carolina has kind of been doing on their own,” said Emily Donovan, Clean Cape Fear co-founder.

According to EPA, exposure to PFOA or PFOS may cause cancer, and developmental, cardiovascular, and immunological problems.
The agency expects to propose national drinking water regulations for these forever chemicals later this year, with a final ruling expected in 2023.

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