Legislation to Protect Public Health and the Environment from PFAS

November 16, 2021

As the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works moves forward with hearings to address the threat to human health and the environment posed by the class of chemical compounds known as poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”), the undersigned state attorneys general write to urge the Committee to pass legislation that ensures that our states’ most urgent needs are addressed. PFAS are associated with severe health effects, including cancer, thyroid disease, and liver damage. Our states are spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to protect our residents from PFAS by remediating PFAS contamination in drinking water, providing alternative drinking water supplies, testing the blood of residents of impacted communities, and determining the scope of contamination. The serious public health threats posed by PFAS contamination and the significant budgetary impacts incurred by our states in response call for swift Congressional action.

We urge the Committee to pass or build on the bi-partisan PFAS Action Act of 2021, H.R. 2467, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 21st. The PFAS Action Act contains a number of provisions vital to protecting public health, including:

  • providing legal authority to compel responsible parties to cleanup PFAS contamination;
  • reducing exposure to and identifying PFAS contamination in air and water;
  • providing funding to address PFAS contamination in drinking water;
  • making medical screenings available to individuals that may have been exposed to elevated levels of PFAS; and
  • prohibiting the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS at federal facilities or by federal entities.

Read the letter here.