‘People Are Dying,’ US House Passes PFAS Action Bill

Members of Congress from both parties are celebrating a major step forward in the fight against PFAS.

Wednesday the United States House passed the PFAS Action Act, sponsored by two Michigan representatives, it has been the Mitten State pushing hardest for action from the federal government.

“No one should be drinking polluted water,” said Brad Jensen, executive director of Huron Pines, “This is a complex issue but that point is really simple.”

PFAS and other hazardous chemicals have been an issue for decades but just recently they are being discovered. Little is being done to clean them up because basically nobody has had to.

“In defending its inaction, the Air Force loves to point out that PFOA and PFOS, two of the main contaminants in our community, are not regulated under federal law,” said Tony Spaniola of Need Our Water.

That’s where the PFAS Action Act comes in. It creates federal drinking water standards, offers grants to pay for clean-up and designates these chemicals as officially hazardous.

“It has quickly been evident that this affects people around the state and around the country,” said Rep. Bill Huizenga.

This is how the bill is moving now, support from not just Michigan’s delegation.

“We have more PFAS contamination sites than any other state but that’s just because we’ve been looking for it,” said Rep. Dan Kildee, “So obviously as people discover more, we get more members of Congress wanting to join us.”

“We are going to see more and more sites, I would think,” said Jensen, “The cleanup and the tools to deal with that, it’s a difficult, expensive problem. That’s why they call them forever chemicals.”

Water moves, including polluted water. Contamination sites in one area spread to others and lawmakers say this bill shows urgency in stopping that spread.

“We need to,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell, “It’s just time. People are dying because the government is not acting.”