Huron Daily Tribune: Michigan senators pushing for federal PFAS funding
WASHINGTON — Michigan senator Gary Peters is one of many U.S. Senators calling for more federal funding to fight PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the county.
In a letter addressed to Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee leaders, 21 senators, including Peters and Debbie Stabenow, ask for funding to expand PFAS monitoring, standards development, and cleanup capabilities.
Among the proposed funding for PFAS cleanup include:
• $2.5 million for supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory work needed to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund law.
• $1.5 million for setting a Maximum Contaminant Levels for PFAS in drinking water.
• $1.4 million to support reporting of PFAS releases into the air and water under the Toxic Release Inventory, as required by the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
• $2 million to study the relationship between PFAS exposure and susceptibility to COVID-19.
• $15 million for a multipurpose grant program included in last year’s appropriations bill, requiring that funds be used for assisting States establish their own pretreatment programs for curbing industrial discharges of PFAS.
• $1 million to support USGS’ work to monitor waterways for PFAS, as required by the FY 2020 NDAA.
• Language encouraging the EPA to move forward with existing efforts to establish national water standards for PFOA and PFOS.
“It is critical that we begin to safely and expeditiously clean up PFAS contamination across the country, including in drinking water sources and industrial sites,” the letter reads.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been used in a variety of residential, industrial, and commercial products, like firefighting foam, nonstick cookware and stain-resistant fabric. They are known as forever chemicals because of their ability to never degrade.
Some health affects caused by PFAS include birth defects, immune system dysfunction, and several forms on cancer.
Recent national reports by the Environmental Working Group have suggested at least 2,230 locations in 49 states are known to have PFAS contamination.
The state of Michigan had announced 38 new known sites contaminated by PFAS in August, with the Cove Landfill and Huron Landfill Property in Bad Axe and the Tri-City Recycling and Disposal Facility — Messman Site in Carsonville the two new sites in the Upper Thumb.
The state did bring a lawsuit against PFAS manufacturers earlier this year, asserting that they concealed the dangers of PFAS, withheld scientific evidence, and knew the way it disposed these would contaminate natural resources and harm Michigan residents.
By: Robert Creenan
Source: Huron Daily Tribune
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