The EPA data was obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a nonprofit that obtained the files through a Freedom of Information Act request. It said the companies identified may be making, importing, handling or storing the chemicals.
“These figures show a scale of potential PFAS contamination in this country that is gargantuan,” said PEER executive director Tim Whitehouse in a statement.
Still, he said the EPA’s identification of companies as just potential, rather than proven, sources of contamination shows the agency doesn’t have as much information as it should about whether the companies are making, using, storing or shipping the chemicals.
“Unfortunately, the data indicate that EPA has a very shaky grasp on who is using which chemicals and in what volumes,” Whitehouse said.