Michigan Rep. Slotkin includes regulation of ‘forever chemicals’ in Department of Defense bill

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 2:31 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been connected to various health issues including some cancers, liver damage and decreased fertility. Sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals,” they tend to not break down and to stay in the human body indefinitely. PFAS have been used to make products since the 1950s, including things like non-stick cookware, stain resistant fabrics, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.

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Now, provisions submitted by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) in the Department of Defense budget that address PFAS contamination have been signed into law. President Joe Biden has signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will fund the Pentagon and the U.S. military for 2022.

The new regulations require the Department of Defense to publish results of drinking and ground water PFAS testing conducted on or near military installations or former defense sites so they are publicly available.

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Also included in the bill were requirements to expand the VA’s burn pit registry to include veterans who served in Egypt and Syria, while requiring mandatory training for VA medical providers on the health effects of burn pits. Also, following the supply chain disruption that came with the pandemic, the Department of Defense will have to develop a supply chain risk assessment framework, including transparency tools, to protect national security supply chains.

“I’m particularly pleased that my amendments to address supply chain vulnerabilities, PFAS contamination, and burn pit exposure among our veterans, have all been included [in the bill,]” Slotkin said in a statement provided to the press. “These three issues are examples of just how deeply Michigan is connected to our overall national security, and addressing them is critically important to our access to clean drinking water, our veterans’ safety, and our domestic manufacturing.”

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