Sarbanes Questions Transparency and Honesty of Trump EPA in Hiding Report on Dangerous Chemicals in Public Drinking Water [Video]

September 6, 2018
CONTACT: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a House Subcommittee on Environment hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) grilled officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) about efforts by Trump Administration political appointees to hide a new report on hazardous chemicals in public drinking water.

Recently released emails show that EPA and DoD officials contacted the White House with concerns about a new study demonstrating the increased health hazards of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – chemicals used in food packaging, household products, electronics manufacturing and other forms of commercial production that have been linked to certain types of cancer, immune system problems and reproductive issues.

The new study found that safe levels of PFAS in drinking water should be ten times lower than current levels. In emails between the White House, EPA and DoD, a Trump administration official worried that the study’s findings would cause a "public relations nightmare," and in response, the Trump EPA hid the report from the public for several months.

“To be candid, I’ve grown increasingly concerned about lack of transparency within the Trump Administration and its various agencies,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I’m concerned, based on some of the exchange of those emails that it may have tipped into a place where concern about PR – the public revelation of these new standards – might have taken over the scientific judgement that should have been in place.”

See below for a full video of the Congressman’s remarks.