Dingell, Kildee and Upton Author Bipartisan Bill To Classify PFAS Chemicals as Superfund Toxics

EWG Applauds Legislation To Aid Cleanup
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For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

WASHINGTON – Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) introduced legislation Monday to classify the fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS as hazardous substances under the Superfund toxics law, which would be an important step toward cleaning up the widespread contamination by these compounds across the nation.

The PFAS Action Act of 2019 would require the Environmental Protection Agency within one year to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, better known as Superfund. This designation triggers requirements to report releases of the chemicals into the environment and  cleanup of contaminated sites, and allows the government to sue polluters to recover the costs of cleanup.

“We applaud Reps. Dingell, Upton and Kildee for introducing this important legislation,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president of government affairs. “This simple step would help potentially hundreds of communities impacted by PFAS contamination to hold polluters accountable and get resources to finally begin the desperately needed cleanup process.”

EPA tests have detected PFAS pollution of public water supplies for 16 million Americans in 33 states, but that is considered a severe underestimate of the scope of the problem. EWG and researchers at Northeastern University have tracked 172 PFAS contamination sites in 40 states, and from unreleased data from the EPA tests, EWG estimates that water supplies for as many as 110 million Americans may be contaminated.