Brown Bill Would Direct EPA to Declare PFAS as Hazardous Substances

Designation Would Allow Federal Funds to Help Clean Up Contaminated Groundwater, Require Polluters to Report, Pay for Remediation; Last Year, City of Dayton Filed Lawsuit against Companies that Contaminated Local Water Supply with PFAS

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined bipartisan legislation that requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare per- and polyfluoroalkyl  substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the EPA Superfund law. The designation would allow federal funds to be used to clean up groundwater contamination due to PFAS spills and mandate responsible parties report spills of PFAS and be held liable for cleanup. In October 2018, the City of Dayton filed a lawsuit to hold companies accountable after PFAS chemicals contaminated the city’s water supply. No PFAS have been found in the city’s drinking water.

“As PFAS contamination becomes a growing concern for communities across the state and country, it’s time for the EPA to step up and declare these chemicals as hazardous substances,” said Brown. “Local communities shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of their water supply. This designation will finally give states the answers they deserve and help hold bad actors accountable.”

Last month, Brown blasted EPA officials for releasing a PFAS Action Plan that fails to include an enforceable drinking water standard for PFOS/PFOA chemicals that have been detected in the drinking water of millions of Americans.  Brown also joined a bipartisan letter calling on EPA to set federal drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS.  

Last June, Brown joined Sen. Portman (R-OH) and others in demanding the release of a draft federal study regarding the levels of PFOS/PFOA chemicals that are safe for exposure. According to news reports, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been blocking the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from releasing the study. 

In August, Brown also helped secure $335.8 million for Air Force bases like Wright-Patt to continue efforts to clean up toxic chemicals, such as PFOS and keep them from getting into the local water supply. 

 

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