Read the full article by Timothy Cama (E&E News)
“North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis’ stance on contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, is under scrutiny as the Republican battles in an uphill reelection fight.
North Carolina is one of the nationwide epicenters of the PFAS crisis of recent years, owing largely to decades of leaks of the PFAS known as GenX into the Cape Fear River, which serves as a water source for many communities.
There is also suspected contamination at various military bases in the state, including Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
PFAS, a broad class of toxic nonstick substances, are used in products including coatings and firefighting foams, and have been linked to cancers, thyroid disease and other ailments. They’re called ‘forever chemicals’ by environmental and safety advocates because they are so resistant to degradation.
The North Carolina Senate race is one of the most pivotal elections in the country this year. If former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) unseats Tillis, it will contribute to a potential change of power in the Senate.
Tillis has been one of the most vocal senators on the PFAS issue, joining bipartisan calls for EPA to set a national standard, co-sponsoring a bill to require federal agencies to clean up their own contamination and pressuring EPA to designate PFAS as hazardous substances.
But he voted in June against an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2021 that would have designated two PFAS chemicals as hazardous under the Superfund law.
The designation, opposed by companies and conservative lawmakers, would have given the military leeway to tap cleanup dollars and pursue responsible parties.
The same day as that vote, Tillis’ campaign accepted a $1,000 donation from the corporate political action committee of DuPont de Nemours Inc., the chemical giant whose predecessor formerly owned the facility linked to the Cape Fear River pollution.
The PAC for Honeywell International Inc., linked to PFAS pollution in other areas of the country, gave Tillis’ campaign $3,000 five days later.
In all, Tillis’ campaign has taken in more than $30,000 from companies blamed for PFAS contamination since his 2014 election, according to records submitted to the Federal Election Commission…”