Read full article by Jerick Sablan (Pacific Daily News)

“Attorney General Leevin Camacho, along with 21 other attorneys general, have written a letter to Congress urging it to pass legislation to address toxic “forever” chemicals.

The joint letter to Congress — signed by a coalition of 22 attorneys general and led by New York Attorney General Letitia James — strongly urges the Senate and House of Representatives to pass legislation to aid states and territories to address perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS…

In jurisdictions that have identified significant PFAS contamination, they have spent tens of millions of dollars to address it, they wrote. They want Congress to designate the chemicals as ‘hazardous substances’ under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

The designation would promote cleanup of some of the worst sites in the U.S. that pose threats to human health or the environment. 

The Department of Defense has identified more than 400 federal facilities with known or suspected PFAS contamination, but has resisted cleanup because they aren’t a hazardous substance in federal law, the AGs wrote.

The attorneys general also want the U.S. Geological Survey to do a nationwide sampling to see the exposure of PFAS in drinking water to determine the scope of the contamination. 

The attorneys general want Congress to help address and prevent the growing dangers of the chemicals and also provide financial assistance to help state and local governments offset the high-cost burden of cleaning up drinking water supplies, the letter states. 

‘Our office is looking at all ways that we can address the contamination of our water,’ said Attorney General Camacho. ‘This means litigation as well as legislation at the local and national level’…

Joining Attorney General Camacho in the letter are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.  

The AG’s office recently hired law firms to represent Guam in an ongoing lawsuit against manufacturers of PFAS. A GovGuam lawsuit may clean up toxins in Guam’s water, the attorney general said…

Senators earlier this month passed the Prutehi I Hanom Act, requested by Leon Guerrero, to address the issue of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in Guam’s water.

Guam will participate in a multi-state lawsuit against manufacturers of chemicals that have been known to contaminate drinking water with PFAS, which can cause cancer, are related to immune system problems and other health concerns. The chemicals are found in items such as food packaging, non-stick cookware and firefighter foam.

The governor said the ‘forever chemicals’ have contaminated public water systems globally, most especially those around military bases. “