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Attorneys General Urge Congressional Action on PFAS

Aug 02, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 20 Attorneys General in sending a letter urging Congress to pass legislation that aids states in addressing the public health threat presented by PFAS. The letter specifically calls for action to help states address and prevent the growing dangers of these chemicals that can contaminate drinking water and groundwater. Additionally, it urges Congress to provide financial assistance to state and local governments to offset the high cost of cleaning up drinking water supplies. Like other states, Michigan has spent tens of millions of dollars over the last two years to investigate and remediate PFAS contamination.

The letter also identifies the most urgent legislative needs that Congress should deal with immediately:

  • Designating certain PFAS chemicals as “hazardous substances” under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, otherwise known as “Superfund.” This designation is key to cleaning up some of the most dangerous PFAS-contaminated sites in the country.
  • Adding the entire class of PFAS chemicals to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, which requires certain industrial facilities to report on the amount of specific toxic chemicals released into the environment annually.
  • Providing funding for remediation of PFAS-contaminated drinking water supplies – particularly those in disadvantaged communities where residents’ water bills rise as a result of their municipality struggling to afford the high costs associated with cleaning up PFAS.
  • Prohibiting the use and storage of firefighting foam containing PFAS at military bases and other federal facilities as soon as possible and in the meantime, providing immediate protective measures, especially when firefighting foam is used.
  • Providing medical screening of PFAS exposure for appropriate personnel and members of the public, including but not limited to firefighters.

The other parties joining Attorney General Nessel in the letter are the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.

To read the full letter, please click here.

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