Lawmakers urged to take action against dangerous chemicals in water

Local News

WASHINGTON D.C – Lawmakers in Washington are fighting to toughen up provisions in the new defense spending bill to protect millions of Americans from PFAS.

As NewsChannel 34’s Raquel Martin shows us, PFAS are chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects and they’ve been found in drinking and ground water around the nation, especially near military bases.

<Mustafa Ali: National Wildlife Federation
“The urgency is now we have people losing their lives each and every day”

Environmentalists like Mustafa Ali say Congress needs to take bold action to get dangerous chemicals known as PFAs out of American’s ground and drinking water.

Mustafa Ali: National Wildlife Federation
“We’ve got military folks being exposed, we’ve got low income communities being exposed, we’ve got fireman being exposed.”

PFAs are used in fire retardants…and firefighting foam. They have contaminated water supplies in 43 states…especially around military bases.

Mustafa Ali: National Wildlife Federation
“We need to be more protective”

But Congress in battling over how to protect Americans from PFAs as part of year’s defense spending bill…the state plan…or a more aggressive version passed by the house.

Jane Luxton : environmental attorney

“The problem is overbreath.”

Jane Luxton an Environmental Attorney says there isn’t enough science to support the house version which would make PFAs as a hazardous material eligible for EPA Superfund clean-up money.

Jane Luxton : environmental attorney
“to sweep 5,000 substances into the hazardous designation risks a number of things”

But Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee says there’s no time to waste.

“Let’s be clear there’s plenty of science, it points to the dangers of PFAs.”

Kildee says the House Plan will hold the department of Defense and Chemical Corporations responsible for the multi billion dollar mess.

“We know enough it’s just an excuse to not do something that they don’t want to do”

He and 162 members of Congress have sent to a letter the lawmakers deciding the bill’s fate they’re urging they keep the house aggressive approach intact.

Lawmakers are hoping to finalize it’s details by the end of the month.

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