WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLUC ) - Bipartisan members of the Michigan congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) and Representatives Jack Bergman (MI-01), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Andy Levin (MI-09), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Haley Stevens (MI-11), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Thursday introduced legislation to address contamination from chemicals containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The PFAS Detection Act provides the U.S. Geological Survey with $45 million to develop new advanced technologies to detect PFAS and then to conduct nationwide sampling for PFAS in the environment.
“People across Michigan who have been exposed to PFAS chemicals are living with incredible uncertainty about the impacts on their health,” said Senator Stabenow. “We need to know more about these potentially harmful chemicals so that we can address contamination moving forward.”
“Too many families across Michigan have had their lives irreparably damaged by PFAS contamination,” said Senator Peters. “As we continue to learn more about these hazardous chemicals, it has become evident that PFAS is a serious threat to communities across the nation. By directing the USGS to uncover and pinpoint high concentration of PFAS, this commonsense, bipartisan legislation would help federal, state and local government agencies properly address this emerging health risk.”
“We must continue to aggressively clean up PFAS chemicals in our communities and identify other sites where contamination could pose a risk to public health,” said Congressman Kildee. “This bipartisan bill, supported by Republicans and Democrats, is an important step to make sure that communities in Michigan and across the country can identify PFAS contamination sites and take appropriate action. Ensuring clean drinking water and protecting public health should not be a partisan issue.”
“Every family deserves the peace of mind in knowing their water is safe for consumption, but limited data regarding breadth and scope of PFAS contamination has left many without this assurance,” said Congressman Bergman. “Our bipartisan legislation takes the necessary steps to identify areas affected by PFAS chemicals, and allows for appropriate remediation plans to be set in place. I will continue working with my colleagues to help enhance community health as we gain a better understanding of the work ahead of us.”
“We can’t respond or clean up PFAS contamination if we don’t know about it,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “Testing and knowing the extent of PFAS in our nation’s water sources will allow us to best respond to this hazardous chemical. PFAS is a clear threat to human health and our environment and we need an all-hands-on-deck response.”
“The ongoing threat of PFAS contamination continues to endanger the safety and health of our communities,” said Congresswoman Lawrence. “This bill provides the necessary supports to ensure our water is clean and our environment is free of contaminants. I’m proud to support this bill with my colleagues today and ensure a safer environment for generations to come.”
“Access to clean, safe drinking water is a right deserved by all,” said Congressman Levin. “To get PFAS chemicals out of our water and to protect our communities from contamination, we have to invest in detection. This issue deserves bipartisan attention, and I’m proud to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to make water safe for Michiganders and all Americans.”
“We need to start treating environmental security like homeland security,” said Congresswoman Slotkin. “When families across Michigan and across the country learn that PFAS may be in their children’s schools and in their ground water, that’s a threat to their health, safety and way of life. I’m proud to help introduce a bipartisan bill that provides funding to test for PFAS so that we can get ahead of this public health threat and keep families safe.”
“We need to understand the full extent of PFAS contamination in our communities so we can prevent these potentially dangerous chemicals from jeopardizing public health,” said Congresswoman Stevens. “The bipartisan PFAS Detection Act is an important step toward addressing this issue and protecting Michiganders.”
“Our government should be about people and getting answers for our families,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “I’m glad to join this bipartisan legislation to ensure that we know what is in our drinking water – only then can we take bold action to make sure our drinking water is clean and safe for everyone. The discovery of PFAS in the water source of many communities has been deeply concerning, and we cannot work to get clean water until we have solid, sound data.”
There are more than 3,000 chemicals containing PFAS but only around 30 of these substances can be detected using current technology. The data collected by the USGS could help assess the health and environmental impacts of exposure to PFAS chemicals and determine how to address contamination moving forward.
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Burr (R-NC), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), and Peter Welch (VT-AL) also cosponsored the legislation.