Rep. Stevens Introduces Legislation to Add PFAS to the EPA’s List of Hazardous Air Pollutants
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, May 9, Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11) introduced H.R. 2605, the Prevent Release of Toxic Emissions, Contamination and Transfer (PROTECT) Act, a bill that would direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to add PFAS chemicals to the list of hazardous air pollutants under section 112(b) of the Clean Air Act.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have been detected at airports, military bases, firehouses and fire training facilities, waste-water treatment plants, and other industrial sites. Exposure to PFAS chemicals has been linked to cancer and other illnesses. A recent report found that Michigan has the highest number of PFAS contamination sites in the nation.
PFAS has been prevalent in the water supply, but it is also emitted into the air. Researchers don’t yet know much about the sources and amount of PFAS air emissions. As part of the EPA’s February 2019 PFAS Action Plan, one of the EPA’s goals is to develop and test methods for finding PFAS in the air. This bill would help the EPA in its mission by adding PFAS chemicals to the list of hazardous air pollutants under Section 112(b) of the Clean Air Act.
“PFAS is a critical environmental crisis facing Michiganders,” said Congresswoman Stevens. “We still have a lot to learn about the extent of PFAS contamination and the health risks associated with prolonged exposure to PFAS chemicals. In order to adequately and effectively address this threat, we need to acknowledge PFAS as an environmental hazard and conduct much-needed research so that we fully understand the danger that PFAS contamination poses to Michiganders. I am proud to introduce the PROTECT Act, because the risk of air contamination must be taken as seriously as water contamination.”
Congresswoman Stevens is a member of the PFAS Task Force. Last month, Congresswoman Stevens joined bipartisan members of the Michigan congressional legislation to introduce the PFAS Detection Act, a bill to provide the U.S. Geological Survey with $45 million to develop new advanced technologies to detect PFAS and use these technologies to conduct nationwide sampling for PFAS in the environment.