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Schumer urges EPA to pick up the pace on clean drinking water standards

February 20, 2019 06:32 PM

EAST GREENBUSH - Senator Chuck Schumer is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt an aggressive timeline and issue a drinking water standard to protect the public from contaminants.

Last week, NewsChannel 13 told you the EPA announced plans to set a maximum level of PFOA and PFOS that can be in drinking water by the end of the year.

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Right now, 1.3 percent of water in the country contains some of these chemicals and Senator Schumer says kicking the can down the road will impact thousands.

Schumer spoke at the UAlbany Cancer Research Center in East Greenbush. He said after a long period of pressure and prodding, the EPA finally agreed to set some drinking water standards. However, the senator says the agency really needs to step it up now.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it will set a maximum contaminant level for PFOA and PFOS. The toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer and birth defects.

The communities of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh have been struggling with this contamination crisis for years.

Schumer, who is also the Senate Minority Leader, is urging the EPA to kick it into high gear – to set standards without delay and with an aggressive timeline – and not wait for and end of the year determination and not be swayed or influenced by big business.

As NewsChannel 13 reported last week, the EPA also announced it will develop cleanup recommendations.

Residents NewsChannel 13 spoke with call the announcement beyond woefully inadequate.

Schumer says safe drinking water for families and children should be made the EPA's top priority.

"They have agreed to set a MCL. That's a good thing, a maximum level. What they haven't told us is two things – how long it'll take – and will the level be stringent enough so that it really protects people. Unfortunately, the EPA has had a history of being pushed around by the chemical industry and not done everything it's supposed to do," said Schumer.

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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