The advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) this week distributed a press release promoting an interactive PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination map and stating that “as of March 2019, at least 610 locations in 43 states are known to be contaminated, including drinking water systems serving an estimated 19 million people.” CBS is among the media outlets that carried the report. If contacted by the media or customers about this report, AWWA recommends utilities observe sound risk communications principles in your responses: • Acknowledge that people may be concerned by the EWG news. Emphasize to media and consumers that you are committed to public health protection. • Explain what you know about PFAS from your own monitoring. Invite media and consumers to learn more about your local water quality by providing them with consumer confidence reports and other web-based information or connecting them to the appropriate utility contact. • Make clear that your water meets all federal and state standards for safety. Point out that your utility also seeks out and monitors for unregulated contaminants to stay ahead of potential health risks. • Indicate there is ongoing research on health effects and treatment of PFAS compounds, and that earlier this year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its PFAS Action Plan . • If possible, contact your local health department and/or a trusted academic voice to collaborate on responses about health risks from PFAS. Earlier this year, as part of the Water Matters Fly-In, AWWA members told Congress that it is vital that • EPA take additional steps to protect source water from PFAS contamination, and • Congress should ensure EPA has the resources it needs to make accurate, health-based decisions on how to address PFAS. AWWA encourages EPA utilize authorities beyond those available under the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act. AWWA specifically asked EPA to use its powers under the Toxic Substances Control Act to • Obtain data to support risk identification and management, and • Restrict production, use and import of PFAS of health concern. Those resources should be used to support • Health effects studies to determine which PFAS compounds pose a health risk, • Development of analytical methods to quantify levels of PFAS compounds in environmental samples (natural waters, wastewaters, soil, etc.), and • Development of technologies to cost-effectively remove PFAS from drinking water and wastewaters to levels that do not pose a public health concern. AWWA is making these recommendations directly to federal agencies as well and encourages member utilities to communicate these recommendations as well. Utilities contacted by media or customers may also find the following helpful: • EPA’s PFAS Management Plan website • DrinkTap.org PFAS consumer info • WRF PFAS Background Technical Information • ITRC’s PFAS Fact Sheets • GAO Summary of DOD Efforts to Address PFAS in Aqueous Fire Fighting Foam Questions? Contact Greg Kail , AWWA communications director, or Steve Via , AWWA director of federal relations.