WASHINGTON — Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) have presented a bipartisan bill in an effort to safeguard Americans against PFAS, according to Upton’s office.
The legislation would establish a national drinking water standard for PFAS, classifies PFAS as hazardous enough to permit the Environmental Protection Agency to cleanse contaminated sites across the U.S., and places an industrial discharge limit.
Upton’s office also says the bill aims to provide wastewater treatment and water utilities with $200 million each year.
“PFAS contamination represents a clear and present danger to Michigan families,” says Upton. “And, as Parchment made crystal clear, we need an all-hands-on-deck effort to protect both human health and our environment.”
“The PFAS Action Act is a sweeping and comprehensive legislative package which has strong bipartisan support to address the PFAS crisis in the United States,” says Dingell. “It’s time that these chemicals are properly addressed to protect the American people from the hazardous substances we know these forever chemicals are.”
We’re told the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team has identified 162 contaminated sites within the state thus far, including in Rockford and Parchment.
An identical bill was passed by the House last session but it died in the Senate. Though the two members of Michigan's congressional delegation have expressed new hope, saying clean water is non-partisan. The duo is also getting a push from actor and activist Mark Ruffalo who joined the lawmakers on a press call in support of the legislation.
“We know that PFAS has been linked to serious health problems, we know that PFAS has contaminated the drinking water of more than 200 million Americans." Ruffalo said.
"Sounding the alarm on this is important but it's not enough. We need to finally act. Now who's going to pay if we don't act? It's us. It's a real people, people who live in front line communities, real people who are paying the price in the form of higher health care costs, and water bills, and the kids are going to pay, and they're going to pay for the rest of their lives," Ruffalo added.
Watch the PFAS Action Act virtual press conference: