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One Year Later, Peters Reiterates Call for Senate to Pass Bipartisan Bill Designating PFAS as Hazardous Substance

03.01.20

Peters and Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduced Bill to Designate PFAS Chemicals as Hazardous Substances Under Environmental Protection Law on March 1, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today reiterated his call for the Senate to pass bipartisan legislation that would mandate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declare PFAS as hazardous substances eligible for cleanup funds under the EPA Superfund law, and enable a requirement that polluters undertake or pay for remediation. The bill was introduced a year ago – on March 1, 2019 – and despite bipartisan support and the House of Representatives passing similar legislation, President Trump has threatened to veto clean-up standards and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not brought the legislation to a vote. Just this week, the EPA unveiled an update to their PFAS Action Plan that did not include establishing strong standards.

“Michiganders are rightly demanding immediate action, and I stand with them in saying more needs to be done to address PFAS contamination,” said Senator Peters. “There is bipartisan consensus on steps that must be done to tackle this crisis, but I’m disappointed that Senate Republican leadership has ceded to the White House’s demand to block action. The EPA’s inaction on PFAS only reaffirms that Congress needs to step in to designate PFAS as hazardous substances and set drinking water standards. I’m pleased to have passed a number of provisions into law addressing PFAS, and I’m going to continue pressing for additional action – including on this bill.”

Last year, Peters joined a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing legislation to direct EPA to list PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances under current Superfund law – which would compel the agency to designate these substances and help protect human health and the environment in an expeditious manner. To see the full text of the bill, click HERE.

Serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee and as Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led numerous efforts to increase resources for PFAS remediation efforts. Earlier this week, Peters helped secure $13.5 million to help remediate PFAS contamination at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda. Peters also helped secure bipartisan provisions that were signed into law in December to address PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the country, including a provision that will phase out the Department of Defense’s use of firefighting foam containing PFAS. Peters also helped enact a provision he worked on with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow that aims to increase coordination on PFAS remediation efforts between the Department of Defense and states.

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