Erin Brockovich, known for her environmental and consumer activism, said it was time to “sound the alarm” as the Trump administration considers halting the regulation of two toxic chemicals that are contaminating the tap water of millions of Americans.
“I think it’s absolutely foolish that the administration does not take water quality seriously,” Brockovich told The Hill on Thursday.
The public health advocate is referring to a Politico report this week that said the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to stop regulating utility companies to test or remove two types of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from their water supplies. Utilities currently have to abide by those regulations under the Clean Water Act.
PFAS have been used for decades in products like firefighting foam and Teflon, and they contaminate groundwater near hundreds of military bases and chemical plants. The two chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), have been linked to cancer and hypertension, and are found in the bloodstreams of Americans nationwide.
The EPA released a statement Tuesday saying it had not “finalized or publicly issued” a PFAS management plan. But Brockovich said action must be taken now to protect Americans from a contaminated water supply.
“We’re going to have to state by state, agency by agency and people by people continue to push out and fight against this because this is one of the most dangerous chemicals we’ve seen,” she told The Hill.
Brockovich, who famously took on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the 1990s, a case that was turned into a hit film, has also recently been vocal about the utility’s plans to go bankrupt, a decision related to damages from the deadly 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires. On Tuesday, Brockovich urged California lawmakers to prevent the bankruptcy because it could mean less money for wildfire victims.