House of Representatives Lawmakers Introduce New Bill To Tackle Concerns Regarding PFAS
United States legislators have introduced a bill looking to require the government to soon classify PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances and monitor drinking water sources for traces of the said chemical, among other policies aimed to tackle concerns surrounding the chemical.
This comes after a slew of recent reports have shown that PFAS chemicals have proliferated in the country’s drinking water sources.
Traces of PFAS or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances were found in water samples from major drinking water sources spread around the country.
Used in several products such as nonstick cooking pans, fabrics, etc., this type of chemical does not decompose in nature, which led to it earning the nickname “forever chemicals.”
Because it is currently unregulated, many manufacturers continue to use it, and some even dump their wastes containing PFAS chemicals in major bodies of water.
It is estimated that more than 200 million Americans have been exposed to these chemicals without them knowing – with most of them via drinking water containing traces of PFAS.
Sponsored by Democratic Representative Debbie Dingell from Michigan, the PFAS Action Act aims to lay down the groundwork for the government to soon look into the hazards brought upon by PFAS to Americans’ health and to address its widespread contamination on the country’s drinking water sources.
Adapting the provisions of an earlier and similar bill that did not enjoy Senate approval, the current iteration of the PFAS Action Act would require the government, through the Environmental Protection Agency, to establish a new set of national drinking water standards governing the approved trace amount of chemicals, including PFAS, in drinking water.
As of press time, there are only voluntary guidelines in place ruling such chemicals. The PFAS Action Act would require the EPA and other related agencies to create new standards within two years after passage of the law.
Additionally, the bill seeks to define PFAS as hazardous substances and would then force the cleanup of heavily contaminated sites in the country within one year.
Dumping caps will also be imposed on manufacturers that use PFAS in their manufacturing processes in order to control the amount of PFAS being released to the country’s water sources.
Other reforms will be done, ranging from allocating funds for clean-up efforts to creating voluntary label standards for products that have PFAS on them.
The PFAS Action Act has enjoyed bipartisan support so far, yet it still has to surmount many obstacles in the House of Representatives before being passed on to the Senate for further scrutiny.
Representative Dingell, the bill’s primary author, called on stakeholders to support the bill by saying that the issue with PFAS is a timely and urgent matter that threatens the general welfare of the American people and the environment.
We here at Consider The Consumer will continue to report on the ongoing developments of the PFAS Action Act in the United States Congress.
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Editor’s Note on PFAS Bill Introduced To Tackle Water Contamination:
This feature’s primary goal is to inform you of the latest bill introduced by a Democratic Representative in the U.S. Congress Lower House, aiming to address the timely issues surrounding PFAS or (per) polyfluoroalkyl substances and their impact on the country’s environment and general public’s health.
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