OHIO — The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced a potential new set of rules that would require additional testing of drinking water. It's aimed at combatting the issue with PFAS chemicals in the country’s water. 

What You Need To Know

  • EPA proposed a new set of rules to address PFAS chemicals in drinking water

  • Also known as "forever chemicals" these are found in clothing, packaging, etc. 

  • The goal is to increase water testing to combat 6 of the main chemicals in the PFAS group

  • The rules will hopefully be implemented by the end of the year 

Peter Butcher, the chief of staff of the Ohio Environmental Council, explained what these chemicals are.

“PFAS is a class of chemicals with about five thousand different types that fall into that category,” he said. 

PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals’, have been found in drinking water. Butcher explained what the EPA’s new rules would require water treatment sites to do. 

“Water utilities will have to make sure they are both testing the drinking water that they may be sending out into the community and then treating for any of those chemicals before sending it out so we can do our absolute best to minimize that exposure in peoples homes,” he said.

These chemicals are popular in manufacturing and are used in food packaging, personal care products, clothes and many other everyday items.  

“Even in low concentrations they have been linked to cancer, reproductive and immune problems and other illnesses as well,” Butcher said.

Butcher has hopes that if implemented, these rules could protect people.

“We certainly want to make sure that Ohioans have safe drinking water going forward and this is one small piece of that, but an important piece,” he said. 

The EPA has to await comments from the public that could cause revisions, but they have hopes for the rules to be finalized by the end of the year.