State attorney general calls on U.S. Senate committee to take action on PFAS chemicals

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – North Carolina’s attorney general is among several calling on a U.S. Senate committee to take action to protect consumers from PFAS chemicals.

Also known as “forever chemicals” due to their resistance to environmental breakdown, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is asking the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to pass or build on the bipartisan PFAS Action Act of 2021. The act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July.

Stein said he and a coalition of 19 attorneys general are asking the committee to take these actions:

  • Designate the chemicals as “hazardous substances” under the federal Superfund law to promote prompt and effective cleanup.
  • Designate PFAS as “hazardous air pollutants” under the federal Clean Air Act and prohibit the unsafe incineration of the chemicals.
  • Establish national drinking water standards for PFAS and control PFAS discharges.
  • Provide funding for drinking water suppliers to cleanup PFAS in their drinking water.
  • Provide funding to states to protect against and respond to PFAS contamination.
  • Make medical screening available to all U.S. Department of Defense personnel and members of the public who may have been exposed to elevated levels of PFAS.
  • Prohibit the use and limit the storage of PFAS-containing firefighting foam at federal facilities.

“For decades, manufacturers of PFAS have gotten away with contaminating our water and harming our health,” said Attorney General Josh Stein in a press release. “This cannot stand. North Carolina has seen firsthand how dangerous PFAS can be. I’m doing everything in my power to protect the water we drink, but we need stronger federal protections against these forever chemicals. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to take legislative action to protect people.”

Stein’s office said it has already filed five lawsuits to hold PFAS manufacturers accountable for contamination in North Carolina.

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