WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first-ever federal rule limiting PFAS in drinking water, which will protect 100 million people from PFAS exposure. To support states and territories in detection of PFAS and implementation of this new national standard, the Biden-Harris Administration has also announced an additional $1 billion, made possible through President Biden’s Investing in American agenda.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—also known as “forever chemicals”–are man-made chemicals that cannot be broken down. According to the CDC, 97% of Americans have at least some PFAS in their blood. Exposure to PFAS has been connected to several serious health issues, including cancers, liver and heart disease, and immune and developmental damage to infants and children.

“PFAS is a serious environmental and health issue that has harmed communities in Pennsylvania, like mine, for decades—this new national standard is the first of its kind and will help fulfill our right to clean drinking water,” Rep. Dean said. “For too long, victims of PFAS exposure have suffered deadly cancers and other serious health issues. Because of tenacious advocates, who have educated the public and demanded change for decades, we can better protect our neighbors. I thank them for their tireless work toward environmental justice, and I commend the Biden Administration, especially the EPA, for this major step for the health and safety of  communities and for future generations.”

The new rule creates a Maximum Contaminant Level, or MCL, that is near zero. Ten states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have previously set MCLs; the EPA’s nationwide MCL is stricter and enforceable across all 50 states.

As a former state Representative for Pennsylvania’s 153rd District and now as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s Fourth Congressional District, Congresswoman Dean has prioritized limiting PFAS, funding research on the health consequences of PFAS exposure, and holding those responsible for the manufacturing of these forever chemicals accountable. Most recently, she introduced the PFAS Accountability Act to create a federal cause of action and allow courts to award medical monitoring for victims of PFAS exposure.

Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.