Sen. Baldwin helps introduce PFAS Detection Act

Published: Mar. 29, 2019 at 6:53 PM CDT
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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Gary Peters (D-MI) and Representatives Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Jack Bergman (MI-01) to introduce bipartisan legislation to address contamination from chemicals containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on Friday.

The PFAS Detection Act provides the U.S. Geological Survey with $45 million to develop new advanced technologies to detect PFAS and then to conduct nationwide sampling for PFAS in the environment.

“It’s clear that PFAS chemicals pose a dangerous risk to public health, and communities across Wisconsin are facing concerning levels of groundwater contamination,” Baldwin said. “We need to learn more about where PFAS chemicals are and develop better ways to detect them so that state and local officials have the information they need to take action, ensure clean water and protect public health.”

Earlier this month, Baldwin asked the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense for answers after media groups reported the agencies were trying to weaken PFAS groundwater cleanup guidelines.

There are more than 3,000 chemicals containing PFAS, but only around 30 of these substances can be detected using current technology. The data collected by the USGS could potentially help assess the health and environmental impacts of exposure to PFAS chemicals and determine how to address contamination moving forward.

U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and Peter Welch (VT-AL) also cosponsored the legislation.