Pruitt’s Latest Ploy
Pruitt’s apparent response to an upsetting report exposing the health effects from water contamination from perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — the chemical used to make non-stick teflon — was to “shove reporters out of the room.”
At a summit on these toxic chemicals, an AP reporter was barred from passing through a security checkpoint inside the building.
According to a tweet from Micah Grime, when the reporter asked to speak to an EPA public-affairs person, the security guards “grabbed the reporter by the shoulders and shoved her forcibly out.”
To add insult to injury, voices of people who have been drinking water contaminated with PFOS and PFOA were excluded, too.
We already knew Scott Pruitt doesn’t aim to do his job and save our planet from impending climate nightmares and public health crises, but using physical force to deny the public vital information, is worse than we could’ve imagined.
Background on PFOA
The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was preparing to release its a water contamination study on the impacts of PFOA and PFOS in January of this year, and it’s long overdue.
Even though studies from the National Institute of Health have linked PFOA to cancer, liver and brain dysfunction, and developmental problems, EPA has yet to regulate it in our drinking water.
Hundreds of communities and military bases across the country have contaminated water — something Pruitt wants to cover up.
The EPA has no rule on the books to regulate these chemicals in our public water systems. It is not protecting communities from the devastation caused by these chemicals.
In response, the EPA has committed to taking steps to "better regulate the chemicals." However, they have still not agreed to release the water contamination study or take any real action towards protecting the public from these chemicals.
Pruitt has shown time and time again that his tyranny at the EPA must end, but this may be his biggest attack on public health and safety to date.
Cuomo Is a Part of This Mess Too
Hoosick Falls, a small community in New York bordering Vermont, has been hit particularly hard by contamination from the nearby plastics factory.
Blood tests show that some Hoosick Falls residents have 100 times the PFOA in their blood as the national average.
It turns out, residents drank tainted water for 18 months after state officials found out about the contamination.
Tap water was making people sick and their government knew but waited over a year and a half to tell anyone.
Exposure to this industrial chemical puts residents at greater risk for cancer and other health problems.
In response to contamination in the state and the Trump administration’s inaction, groups have asked Governor Cuomo to step up and regulate these chemicals.
We need to:
- Help clean up Hoosick Falls
- Make sure this never happens again.
He has done neither of those things.
We need a clear plan to deal with similar cases of pollution. Instead, we've seen a lot of finger-pointing and very little action.
It's time for a comprehensive state water quality plan in New York and recognition that PFOA is more dangerous than previously thought from the EPA.
This water crisis also exposes the dire need for more funding for water infrastructure – at both the state and federal level. New York modestly increased funding for water infrastructure in the wake of the Hoosick Falls crisis, but much more is needed to address the problem.
We cannot let Pruitt's EPA and Cuomo get away with this.
No one should have to drink poisoned water. Period.