U.S. Freshman representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) voted to pass PFAS legislation today in order to take action against the water contamination issue in Michigan.
In Michigan’s 8th district, at least five schools were contaminated with PFAS. as a result, Slotkin has made the mitigation of this chemical a priority while in office.
“I believe that access to clean water out of your tap is a right, not a privilege, and that environmental security is homeland security,” Slotkin said.
PFAS is short for Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. PFAS can be found in food packaged with the chemicals, commercial household products, the workplace and drinking water.
The package of 12 bills passed today, called “PFAS Action Act” would set standards for PFAS chemicals in drinking water; designate PFAS as a hazardous substance eligible for Superfund cleanup funds; and prevent the manufacturing of new products containing PFAS, among several other provisions.
Those other provisions include:
- Direct the EPA to establish drinking water standards for PFAS;
- Prevent any new materials containing PFAS from coming to market;
- Designate certain PFAS as hazardous substances under the law that governs the Superfund cleanup program;
- Stem the flow of PFAS contamination into the environment by requiring cleanup of sites contaminated with PFOA and PFOS;
- Identify health risks by requiring comprehensive health testing for all PFAS, reporting of PFAS releases, and monitoring for PFAS in drinking water;
- Authorize $100 million annually through fiscal 2024 to help states address contamination in drinking water;
- Authorize $100 million in both fiscal 2020 and 2021 for a grant program to support the installation of treatment technologies;
- Create a voluntary label for cookware that is PFAS-free;
- Provide guidance for first responders to limit their exposure.