Congress will consider a bill requiring states to work with federal agencies to remove and remediate water contaminated with the dangerous chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Four House representatives from Michigan, a state facing a widespread PFAS threat, introduced the bipartisan PFAS Federal Facility Accountability Act on Tuesday, Detroit's WXYZ-TV reports.
The bill would hold states to the "most stringent" standards for PFAS in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It would also speed up testing and clean-up of contaminated federal facilities, and help states cover the costs, according to Michigan Live.
In July, tests found that water in several Michigan communities contained 20 times the federal health advisory for consumption of PFAS. Once widely used in firefighting foams and household products, these man-made contaminants have been linked to birth defects and increased risk of cancer. While state agencies have uncovered unsafe levels of the compound in water across the country, the federal government has overlooked and even downplayed the issue.
"This bipartisan effort will help Michigan continue our rapid response to the PFAS contamination issue," Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan), who introduced the bill, said in a statement on Up Matters. "We must increase cooperation between the states and the federal government so that everyone is on the same page."