LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Legislation to help remediate and take preventative measures against PFAS has been secured.
U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin has advocated for and secured critical measures in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the major annual bill authorizing national defense spending, to stem the flow of PFAS contamination and hold the Department of Defense(DoD) accountable for future clean up, according to a press release from Slotkin's office.
Slotkin secured the following NDAA measures to prevent further PFAS contamination by requiring the DoD to stop using PFAS-laden firefighting foam (AFFF) by 2029. The NDAA also requires the DoD to report back to the House Armed Services Committee by 2025 with the requirements for transitioning away from the firefighting foam.
The uncontrolled release of the firefighting foam in non-emergency situations is also a preventative measure, according to the press release, according to the press release.
In addition, Slotkin has also worked to make sure the DoD is held accountable for PFAS remediation including requiring that the DoD report on best practices for clean-up and disposal of PFAS-contaminated groundwater, soils, filters and gaps that require further research and action as well as providing an additional $121.3 million in environmental restoration accounts for PFAS remediation.
Slotkin's security measures also ensure those affected by PFAS contamination including requiring the DoD to provide blood testing for each firefighter and authorizing the Dod to ensure adequate training for individuals in regular contact with AFF.
“I believe that Michigan soon will face the existential crisis of deciding whether clean water out of your tap is a right or a privilege, and I believe it is a right,” Slotkin said. “As PFAS contamination, particularly in and around our military bases, threatens the safety of more and more families in communities across our state, I’m glad to see the NDAA include the provisions I have been fighting for to begin to meet the threat of PFAS contamination with the urgency it requires.”
Sen. Gary Peters has made provisions in the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act to prevent firefighting foam containing PFAS, as well as "encourage the Department of Defense to finalize cooperative agreements with states and partner with governors to address, test, monitor, remove, or remediate PFAS contamination originating from DoD activities, including at decommissioned military installations and National Guard facilities."
Peters released this statement to NEWS 10 on Tuesday, on Rep. Slotkin's efforts.
“To address the PFAS crisis impacting families and communities across Michigan, we must take action. I’m pleased that the national defense bill advancing to the full Senate includes my provision that aims to increase coordination between the Department of Defense and states on remediation efforts for contaminated PFAS sites," he said.
"This bill builds on my efforts on PFAS with measures to prevent the Department of Defense from using firefighting foams with PFAS in the future. It also would make investments in advanced computer modeling so that the Pentagon can work to solve problems caused by exposure to PFAS. I look forward to working with Representative Slotkin to ensure we can continue addressing PFAS at both military and non-military sites in the future.”
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