Read the full article by Jon Hurdle (NJ Spotlight)
“Toxic PFAS chemicals that contaminate water and soil in many areas of New Jersey and across the country stand a better chance of national regulation under the incoming Biden administration than they have done for the past four years, advocates for their control predicted Tuesday.
New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is expected to play a key role in renewing support for the PFAS Action Act, a bill that was passed by the House in January this year but died in the Senate, and will be reintroduced in the new Congress.
PFAS are widespread, and are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not break down in the environment, and accumulate in the human body, scientists say. In 2009 and 2010, the chemicals were found in two-thirds of 33 New Jersey public water systems tested, according to a DEP report issued in 2014.
‘Addressing forever chemicals continues to be a top priority for Congressman Pallone,’ his office said in a statement. ‘He was pleased to push through the PFAS Action Plan earlier this year in the House but was disappointed when the Senate refused to act. It will remain a priority for the congressman in the upcoming Congress.’
Cleaning up contamination
The bill would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to list the chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund law. That designation would give the EPA more power to require the responsible parties to clean up contamination with PFAS, formally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
‘We think this can be a very fast environmental win. We need a strong national protective standard for drinking water,’ said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who sponsored the bill. She spoke Tuesday during a Facebook Live event staged by Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit that urges the federal government to set national health standards for the chemicals in drinking water.
President-elect Joe Biden has identified PFAS regulation as an environmental priority in his administration, said Melanie Benesh, an attorney for EWG…”