Michigan Senator weighs in on PFAS provisions in National Defense Authorization Act
EDWARDSBURG, Mich. – Senator Gary Peters of Michigan on Tuesday hosted a conference call to discuss the provisions aimed at solving the PFAS crisis.
PFAS are man-made chemical contaminants that can be found in groundwater.
Senator Peters, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants the Annual National Defense Budget to include cleanup for PFAS contamination.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been signed into law for over 55 consecutive years.
The final bill has already been negotiated, and Congress will now vote on it.
The following are the PFAS provisions included in NDAA:
- Stopping the Use of PFAS Chemicals in Firefighting Foams
- Preventing Use of PFAS-laden Firefighting Foams in Training Exercises
- Increasing Coordination on PFAS Remediation Efforts, Data Between the Department of Defense and States
- Funding to Better Understand PFAS Through Advanced Computing
- Developing New Technologies to Detect PFAS, Adding PFAS to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, Helping Farms Impacted by PFAS from Military Sites
In April of 2016, there was a gasoline spill at the intersection of State Highway M-60 and Pine Lake Street in Howard Township near Niles, Michigan. Aqueous film forming foam was used in that incident to prevent fire and explosion hazards.
During the conference call, Senator Peters said, “We’re going to be phasing out PFAS in firefighting foams in the department of defense. We know that firefighting foams have contributed considerably to the amount of contamination we see in areas around air bases.”
The foam has been commonly used in Michigan for military training and fire prevention.
The bill, if approved, will extend relief to agricultural workers who have experienced losses due to PFAS contamination.
The bill will also fund research into PFAS contamination cleanup.
Scientists have discovered that exposure to PFAS chemicals can cause negative health effects.
“We’re going to make better, stronger efforts to keep PFAS from getting into the environment in the first place,” Peters also said. “We’re also going to expand testing so that people know whether or not they are subjected to PFAS contamination sites that may be located near their homes in Michigan.”