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EPA sets new drinking water standards to reduce 'forever chemical' PFAS

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the first mandatory limits on forever chemicals in the nation’s drinking water Wednesday and is distributing $1 billion to help local governments meet the new standards. 

The new limits target PFAS, the human made chemicals that cause cancer and pose other health risks. The EPA’s new standards will require public water systems to monitor for six types of PFAS chemicals. It also said it will notify the public if PFAS levels exceed regulatory standards and take action to reduce PFAS in water supplies. 

"While also distributing $1 billion of investments to help cities and states and local governments make the upgrades necessary to protect the American people," said Ali Zaidi, White House national climate advisor.

The funding and the new drinking water standards are expected to help prevent PFAS exposure in about a third of the country.  

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Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.