Pentagon, EPA Butt Heads On Standards For Groundwater Pollution As Military Faces Billions In Clean-Up Fees
Up to 10 million people in the country may be drinking water laced with high levels of toxic "forever" chemicals — known as PFAS — including thousands of people who live near military bases. Since the 1970s, the Defense Department has been one of the most frequent users of PFAS, and in 2017, military communities around the country began to report alarming levels of the chemicals in their drinking water. Now the Pentagon is advocating for weaker standards in regulating the clean-up, but the EPA is holding firm. Also, a look at how asbestos is still being used in household products.
The New York Times:
Pentagon Pushes For Weaker Standards On Chemicals Contaminating Drinking Water
Facing billions of dollars in cleanup costs, the Pentagon is pushing the Trump administration to adopt a weaker standard for groundwater pollution caused by chemicals that have commonly been used at military bases and that contaminate drinking water consumed by millions of Americans. The Pentagon’s position pits it against the Environmental Protection Agency, which is seeking White House signoff for standards that would most likely require expensive cleanup programs at scores of military bases, as well as at NASA launch sites, airports and some manufacturing facilities. (Lipton and Turkewitz, 3/14)
The Stunning Truth About Asbestos Use In The U.S.
Asbestos is no longer ubiquitous in building materials, and since it's proven to cause cancer, many Americans likely assumed the substance had been banned entirely. But not only is asbestos a naturally occurring mineral, it is also still used to make some household products. (O'Brien, 3/13)
In other news from the administration —
How Ned Sharpless, Biotech Veteran, Vaulted To The Top Of The FDA
Almost immediately after beginning his Bethesda day job as the nation’s top cancer researcher, Ned Sharpless built a roughly 7-mile detour into his weekly routine: a sojourn to the Food and Drug Administration campus for a pickup basketball game. Whether or not the networking was intentional, Sharpless will soon be spending far more time with the FDA oncologists who once broke his finger. When Scott Gottlieb steps down after a nearly two-year tenure next month, Sharpless will take the helm of that agency, at least in the short term. (Facher and Sheridan, 3/14)
Pulse Check: Can We Trust Trump On HIV?
The president says he wants to end the HIV epidemic. His track record suggests otherwise. (3/13)