Florida congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is demanding answers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as to why the agency decided to classify gravity-fed water filtration systems sold by Berkey Water Systems as pesticides, according to a Matt Gaetz press release and a report published in the Washington Examiner.

The Washington Examiner’s report notes that “Berkey Water Systems, the country’s second-most popular water filtration system next to Brita, filed a lawsuit against the EPA in August to stop the classification which Gaetz says is an attempt to put the company “out of business” and an “abuse” of EPA authority.”

In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan dated October 16, 2023, Gaetz writes: “This unprecedented attempt to, arbitrarily and without administrative process, put Berkey Water Systems out of business is an abuse of the EPA’s regulatory authority. In no stretch of the imagination is Berkey or any other water-filter brand that incorporates silver engaging in the business of manufacturing pesticides or manufacturing products that are treated with pesticides. The EPA’s ruthless and illogical interpretation of FIFRA is self-evidently without merit, and it must be reconciled with reality.”

Gaetz also says, “At a time when Americans are increasingly unhealthy and their water filled with contaminants, such as endocrine disrupters, heavy metals, and “forever” chemicals, such as PFAS, the EPA should be pursuing policies within its regulatory authority that incentivize increased use of water-filtration systems, not less.”

The letter also lists three points for which Gaetz is seeking more information:

  1. Why has the EPA, after decades, just now sought to change the way it regulates Berkey Water Systems?
  2. Please provide a copy of any and all policy documents, guidance, or regulations forming the basis of EPA’s actions against Berkey Water Systems from January 1, 2022, to the present.
  3. Is it the EPA’s position that incorporating silver or other metals into non-operable, incidental, or cosmetic features of a consumer good qualify that good, on that basis alone, as a pesticide regulable under FIFRA?  If not, what is the standard for the incorporation of a metal into product design qualifying that product as a pesticide?  Has this standard gone through APA notice-and-comment rulemaking?

Gaetz also calls for the EPA to “end its attack on Berkey Water Systems immediately and focus on the job it was created to do–keep Americans safe–a job Berkey Water Systems has arguably done more effectively.” 

Matt Gaetz is a member of the 118th Congress and is currently serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

About the Lawsuit

New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. (“NMCL”) and the James B. Shepherd Trust, the brand owner of Berkey Water Systems, filed a lawsuit against the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) in August of 2023 seeking to stop its unjustified treatment and perceived persecution of Berkey Water Filters based on the EPA’s decision this year to treat Berkey Water Filters as though they are pesticides, rather than water filters. To learn more about the lawsuit, you can read the full press release here.

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Spread the Word—Share and Repost!

We encourage you to share or repost this story and our original press release to raise awareness about the targeted and abusive conduct of the EPA against Berkey.

If an injunction is not granted and Berkey is not allowed to resume regular manufacturing and distribution operations, people around the world may no longer have the opportunity to experience the benefits of Berkey’s unique, economical and time-proven water filter systems that have improved lives for over 20 years by providing clean drinking water from freshwater sources.

Moreover, if the EPA can get away with these extreme actions in classifying Berkey as a pesticide and issuing orders that effectively stop the flow of Berkey® products…it begs the question: which other water filter company or other beneficial products are next on their list to interfere with? Something needs to be done to reign in the EPA’s abuse of power and hold them accountable.

So, in addition to sharing our posts, please take a moment to write or call your local representatives, congressmen and senators and ask for their help in reigning in the EPA specifically regarding their attack in classifying Berkey® water filters as pesticides, and lifting their stop-sale orders that are preventing the manufacture and distribution of Berkey® products.

We appreciate your support!