On March 19, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a letter to governors in 56 states and territories announcing plans to host a National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on May 22-23, 2018. The summit will bring together stakeholders from across the country to take action on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS is a category of man-made chemicals widely used to produce stain-resistant, waterproof and/or nonstick materials.
Environmental Council of States (ECOS) Executive Director Sambhav Sankar was glad to see EPA recognize PFAS issues noting that states have been on the front lines and would like to see continued federal research and leadership in this area. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said, “We need a national effort to review the expanding scientific research on these contaminants, as well as possible responses and remediation.”
Summit participants will work together to share information, identify specific near-term actions, and develop risk communication strategies to address public concerns with PFAS.
After the summit, EPA plans to travel to states with communities impacted by PFAS to further determine how they can support ongoing work at the state, local, and tribal levels. EPA will develop a PFAS Management Plan for release later this year.