Bipartisan legislation addressing PFAS/PFOS contamination that is increasingly present in community groundwater is likely to clash with the Trump administration, The Hill reported Monday.
The chemicals, found in items from raincoats to firefighting foam, have been associated with negative health effects including cancer, as well as high cholesterol and other illnesses.
PFAS/PFOS groundwater contamination has appeared in 43 states, and 98% of Americans tested registered levels in their blood, according to a 2015 study.
Lawmakers have introduced at least 20 bills this session to address PFAS and are aimed toward increasing regulatory responsibilities at the Environmental Protection Agency and Pentagon.
Bills in both chambers would require EPA establish drinking water standards for PFAS, set cleanup deadlines for government-caused PFAS contamination and other regulatory measures.
“We are now fully aware of the risks and how extensive the contamination is,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who has sponsored two PFAS bills.
DOD faces $2 billion in cleanup costs, and senators are concerned about rumors the Pentagon wants the EPA to loosen future PFAS regulations, saving millions in cleanup costs.
“This is very expensive and pretty much connected to every military base,” Stabenow said. “We want to hold them accountable and move forward to address this.”
DOD denies it has tried to weaken EPA’s approach and have said they support EPA setting cleanup standards.
Air Force photo by Airman Jacob Wrightsman