03.29.19

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Bipartisan PFAS Detection Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Gary Peters (D-MI) and Representatives Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Jack Bergman (MI-01) to introduce bipartisan 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.

“It’s clear that PFAS chemicals pose a dangerous risk to public health, and communities across Wisconsin are facing concerning levels of groundwater contamination,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to learn more about where PFAS chemicals are and develop better ways to detect them so that state and local officials have the information they need to take action, ensure clean water and protect public health.”

“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.”

“We need to act quickly to address PFAS contamination in our water supply, in our household products and in our environment,” said Senator Rounds. “The military has taken steps to eliminate the contamination near Ellsworth, but it’s important we make sure all of our communities are safe from PFAS contamination. I look forward to working with Sen. Stabenow and all of our Senate colleagues to advance this commonsense legislation.”

“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.”

Senator Baldwin has been taking action to establish enforceable drinking water standards and ensure Wisconsin has clean drinking water. Earlier this month, Baldwin pressed the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense for answers after media reports that the agencies were trying to weaken PFAS groundwater cleanup guidelines.

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 Richard Burr (R-NC), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), 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.