Slotkin Reveals PFAS Provisions For Michigan Defense Agenda

By Mike Kruzman / news@whmi.com

8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin is sharing provisions that address PFAS concerns that she is offering as part of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are “forever chemicals” that don’t break down and have been used in manufacturing, in the production of many common household cleaning items, and firefighting foam, dating back 70 years. It can cause cancer, thyroid issues, and other health problems over time. In a video press conference held earlier today, Congresswoman Slotkin gave updates on the progress made over her first 18 months in office as well as her plans moving forward. Provisions already passed into law are requirements that the Department of Defense stop using PFAS-laden firefighting foam immediately for training, and completely by 2024. Additionally, beginning in 2021, PFAS will be on the list of chemicals municipalities must test for in water.

Today, Slotkin revealed new PFAS-related provisions for the 2020 Michigan Defense agenda. She said first and foremost, the Department of Defense would be required to clean up PFAS based on the strictest standard available, federal or state. Slotkin said that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has put forth the suggestion that Michigan will adopt its own standard for PFAS, which will be more strict than the federal standard is right now.

Another provision calls for greater transparency from the Defense Department to publicly disclose the results of PFAS testing. The Defense Department would also be prohibited from buying certain items that contain PFAS. A release from Slotkin’s office states that this will not only protect service members and their families from the chemicals, but also help grow the market for non-PFAS commercial goods. Finally, Slotkin announced a bi-partisan measure to set in motion the most rigorous federal PFAS research agenda to date, by requiring a comprehensive study to provide answers to questions about the degree of danger we face from PFAS and how to reduce our risk.

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