WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow introduced legislation to change the classification of PFAS to a hazardous substance.
The bipartisan proposal, PFAS Action Plan of 2019, would make contaminated sites eligible for cleanup funds under the Environmental Protection Agency superfund law and would institute a requirement that polluters must undertake or pay for remediation.
“Categorizing PFAS as hazardous will help accelerate the cleanup of contaminated areas and protect our communities in Michigan,” Stabenow said. “This legislation also holds the EPA accountable for their previous commitments made in their PFAS Action Plan.”
Peters says the EPA has dropped the ball when it comes to handling the PFAS crisis, and there isn’t a clear plan of action in place.
“To me, there is no credible rationale on behalf of the EPA as to why they are not moving,” Peters said. “They just recently put out another report that basically just kicks the can down the road.
Folks can`t wait any longer, people who have been subjected to this contamination can`t wait, we can`t keep kicking this can down the road, the EPA needs to act, it is fundamental to who they are as an organization and I`m going to keep pushing them.”
Peters said the legislation forces the EPA to create a standard, and claims the agency has been reluctant to do that. If passed, there would be a one-year deadline to determine a standard.
“The bill leaves it up to the EPA to use the best available science to determine what that standard is,” Peters said. “They currently have an advisory of 70 parts per trillion, there are many people who believe that is way too high and needs to be lowered.
“In fact, a number of significant scientific organizations have said that needs to be lower.”