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UCS chooses to peddle conspiracy theories rather than be a constructive partner in PFAS effort

Tom Flanagin

You may have seen a recent conspiracy theory the Union of Concern Scientists (UCS) has been peddling in the media and on the Hill about a Jan. 31 meeting between EPA and ACC staff.

Their theory goes that ACC has been bending the ear of EPA in secret to prevent a government report on a class of chemicals known as PFAS from being released. These allegations are not based in fact and are incredibly irresponsible.

Here are the facts:

  • EPA career staff from the Office of Water met with ACC and several of its member companies to discuss the agency’s “Cross-Agency Effort to Address PFAS,” which as EPA’s own website says is intended to “…build on the work that the Agency has done to establish non-regulatory drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS.”
  • EPA and ACC did not discuss the status of or any internal administration actions being taken on the report that UCS refers to in their theory.
  • Staff from EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) office did attend, including Richard Yamada who is the deputy assistant administrator of ORD, but Dr. Nancy Beck did not.

Criticizing Industry for being a Constructive Partner

UCS wasn’t content just trying to peddle their conspiracy theory, though. They also decided to disparage ACC’s participation at this week’s PFAS Summit at EPA. Our participation in that meeting was in an effort to be a constructive partner and resource to federal and state regulators and other important stakeholders including some NGOs.

They ignore the fact that during our presentation, ACC announced industry support for a process based on the best available science to determine, as appropriate, maximum contaminant levels and cleanup levels for PFOS, PFOA and other legacy PFAS. We also expressed our support for finalizing a significant new use rule to prohibit the import of products containing legacy PFAS substances.

These are steps industry is taking to be proactive and something you’d think UCS would be happy to hear. Unfortunately, that is clearly not the case, but we hope others will continue to focus on the ways we can constructively work together to address this important issue.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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