Dingell Efforts Lead EPA to Designate PFAS Hazardous Substances
Washington, August 26, 2022
Today, after a four-year effort led by Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will designate two of the most widely used and notoriously harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as “Superfund.” The designation is a key pillar of Dingell’s bipartisan PFAS Action Act, first introduced in 2019. The PFAS Action Act has twice passed the House with bipartisan support.
“Forever chemicals are an urgent public health and environmental threat for communities across the country, including the ones I represent, and the number of contamination sites nationwide continues to grow at an alarming rate,” said Dingell. “In 2018, we learned the Huron River was contaminated end-to-end with these chemicals after decades of industrial pollution and in response I introduced the bipartisan PFAS Action Act to designate PFAS as the hazardous substances we know they are.”
“I applaud President Biden and the EPA for taking this significant step forward,” continued Dingell. “This action today continues the administration’s efforts to combat forever chemicals. Designating PFOA and PFOS—the two most notorious and harmful chemicals—will go a long way in helping to finally jumpstart cleanups nationwide, prevent future PFAS contamination, hold polluters accountable, and protect Americans from the dangerous effects of these chemicals long-term.”
“I thank my colleagues in Congress and all our partners who have helped to get us here, and I encourage you to continue to make your voices heard during the comment period for this rulemaking in support of this important designation,” Dingell concluded. “Our work is far from done. Now that the House has passed the PFAS Action Act twice, the Senate must send it to the President’s desk so this progress cannot be reversed in the future.”
Dingell has long led the fight against PFAS, introducing the Keep Food Containers Safe from PFAS Act, No PFAS in Cosmetics Act, and Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substances (PFAS) Act, in addition to the PFAS Action Act.
PFAS chemicals are man-made chemicals that have so far been found in the drinking water of more than 2,000 communities. PFAS chemicals are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic—and can be found in some level in nearly everyone’s bodies today. These chemicals have been linked to harmful human health effects, including cancer, reproductive and developmental harms, and weaken immune systems.