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Islander News: Environmental advocates say limiting toxic chemicals in tap water under new federal guidelines can protect Biscayne Bay

Environmentalists and water conservationists are praising a new federal law that controls the amount of toxic chemicals in tap water, which is linked to health issues like cancer, liver damage and high cholesterol.

The Biden administration’s groundbreaking law targets reducing exposure to per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances. Water utilities, including Miami-Dade, are required to filter out five or more than 12,000 types of individual forever chemicals.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the regulations also set a limit for mixtures of any two or more of PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS and GenX chemicals.

Chemicals are used to help products repel water and oil, but they remain in the environment and are consumed by humans, which can also cause heart problems and thyroid disease.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chemicals are found in the blood of nearly 97 percent of all Americans.

The Biden administration is also earmarking about $1 billion in newly available funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help states conduct testing and treatment for these chemicals at public water systems and for owners of private wells.

Miami-Dade County has been working to improve the bay’s health by preventing fertilizer runoff during the rainy season and converting septic systems into sewers.

“Miami-Dade emphasizes the importance of preserving the bay, especially given its impact on people’s way of life and livelihoods,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

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