Michigan congressman's PFAS bill has hearing today

PFAS was found in the water supply of Parchment and Cooper Townships, Mich. (WDIV)

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee's PFAS bill will go before the House Committee on Natural Resources today.

The PFAS Detection Act authorizes $45 million for the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct nationwide sampling for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and develop new advanced technologies to detect the chemicals. Kildee will testify in support of the legislation along with Steve Sliver, who is the executive director of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team.

If you don't already know, PFAS has become a massive environmental and health issue in Michigan -- we wrote about it at length here.

An update this year to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) shows Michigan with by far the most sites (192), but the report says it could be attributed to a more comprehensive testing program.

"It reinforces the fact that PFAS chemicals are everywhere – when you look for them, you find them. California has 47 known contamination sites and New Jersey has 43," the report said.

“The updated map shows that PFAS contamination is truly a nationwide problem, impacting millions of Americans in hundreds of communities,” said Phil Brown, a professor of sociology and health sciences at Northeastern University and director of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute. “Leaders in many communities and states are doing great work to raise awareness about PFAS and push for cleanup, but this is a national crisis demanding national action. The EPA should act more quickly to evaluate all PFAS chemicals and restrict their use, and polluting industries should be held responsible.”

The last time the map was updated, in July 2018, there were 172 contaminated sites in 40 states. This update draws from new data sources, so it is not directly comparable with the previous edition. But clearly, the crisis is spreading, and the new data may represent just the tip of a toxic iceberg.

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