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EPA Gears Up for Final PFAS Community Engagement Event in Leavenworth, Kansas Next Week

08/29/2018
Contact Information: 

WASHINGTON  — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the full agenda for the final per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) community engagement event. The event will take place on September 5, 2018, at the Riverfront Community Center, 123 S. Esplanade, Leavenworth, Kansas. The event is open to the public and includes presentations from EPA experts about PFAS, research, and an overview of PFAS in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. Starting at 3:30 p.m. CST, EPA will host a community listening session to hear directly from Heartland communities, states, local governments, and tribes about their experiences with PFAS.

“EPA has received more than 60,000 public comments regarding PFAS since our National Summit in Washington, D.C., in May. The Leavenworth event is EPA’s fifth and final community engagement event held in locations across the country. While the Heartland states have seen fewer cases of PFAS contamination compared to other parts of the country, we are looking forward to hearing from our stakeholders and community members as we work together to manage PFAS,” said EPA Regional Administrator Jim Gulliford.

Agenda for Kansas PFAS meeting.

Additional details will be posted on the PFAS Community Engagement Website.

Both sessions are open to the public and press. If you are interested in attending the event, please register here: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/forms/pfas-community-engagement-leavenworth-kansas. Those interested in speaking should select the option to speak while registering. NOTE: Online registration will close on Friday, August 31, 2018, at 9:00 AM CST. Those unable to register online will be able to register or sign up to speak in person at the event. Registration is not required to attend or speak.

Please check back at the PFAS Community Engagement Website for further information leading up to the event. Citizens are also encouraged to submit written statements to the public docket at https://www.regulations.gov/ (enter docket number: OW-2018-0270).

EPA has made addressing PFAS a priority, and EPA is moving expeditiously on the following actions:

1. EPA will initiate steps to evaluate the need for a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS. We will convene our federal partners and examine everything we know about PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
2. EPA is beginning the necessary steps to propose designating PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” through one of the available statutory mechanisms, including potentially CERCLA Section 102.
3. EPA is currently developing groundwater cleanup recommendations for PFOA and PFOS at contaminated sites and will complete this task by fall of this year.
4. EPA is taking action in close collaboration with our federal and state partners to develop toxicity values for GenX and PFBS later this year.

Background

Throughout the summer, EPA has conducted similar engagements with communities impacted by PFAS. Community Engagements have been held in Exeter, New Hampshire (June 25-26); Horsham, Pennsylvania (July 25); Colorado Springs, Colorado (August 7-8); and Fayetteville, North Carolina (August 14). EPA also engaged with tribal representatives at the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum in Spokane, Washington, on August 15.

These community engagement events are critical to understand ways the Agency can best support the work that’s being done at the state, local, and tribal levels. Using information from the National Leadership Summit, community engagements, and public input provided by the docket, EPA plans to develop a PFAS Management Plan for release later this year.

To ensure that everyone who would like to provide input to EPA has the opportunity to do so, the Agency has opened a docket for input from the public and will be accepting comments until September 28, 2018. Comments may be submitted at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0270

To learn more about PFAS, please visit:  https://www.epa.gov/pfas