New, bipartisan legislation could help clean up a major threat to our water.
Three U.S Representatives from Michigan—Democratic Reps. Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee, and Republican Rep. Fred Upton—have introduced legislation to combat toxic pollution from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The PFAS Action Act would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to classify all PFAS chemicals as “hazardous substances” under the Superfund program—which would enable to EPA to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up PFAS contamination. PFAS substances—used widely for nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing and more—have been linked to cancer and other health problems. A July 2018 study found 172 known PFAS contamination sites in 40 states.
“PFAS chemicals poison our water from Michigan to North Carolina, endangering up to 110 million Americans,” said Bart Johnsen-Harris, clean water advocate for our national network. “The PFAS Action Act would help clean up already-contaminated drinking water, even as we work to phase out these chemicals to keep PFAS out of our water for good.”
Photo: A Michigan Department of Environmental Quality geologist investigates potential PFAS contamination. Credit: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)