New $20B Bill Introduced to Battle 'Forever Chemicals'

Pigs must be flying because I actually agree with Senate Democrats on something...reducing the chemicals in our products!

A $20 billion bill was introduced that would fund to remove chemicals linked to cancer, or "forever chemicals", as it continues to contaminate our water supply.

Forever chemicals are chemicals that tend to persist in the human body and the environment. They are harder to get rid of and detox from. One of the largest group of forever chemicals are known as PFAS, which are used in everyday products including: nonstick cookware.

Personally, we made the switch to cast iron and stainless steel cookware months ago. I have been learning more about the chemicals used the products I buy and use, and have been making cleaner choices for my family. We also switched to glass containers rather than plastic containers, which can leach chemicals into your food.

The new legislation, rolled out by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Thursday, will expand the existing water programs that are run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The money will fund numerous grant programs as well as used to remove PFAS from our water sources. 

“This widespread concern demands a comprehensive, meaningful response from Congress so American families can trust the safety of the water coming out of their tap,” Shaheen said. 

“This new legislation is an important step to help meet that goal by delivering robust federal resources to states to invest in remediation so we can quickly and efficiently clean our drinking water supplies when contamination is detected," she continued.

The Hill reports:

Those funds could be used by major water systems or even homeowners who need to have private wells tested.

The $20 billion Shaheen sets aside – spread out over the course of a decade – would be a staggering increase over what Congress has previously appropriated on PFAS.

Much of that previous funding has gone to the military, which has spread PFAS contamination through heavy use of firefighting foam that contains it. The Pentagon estimates its own PFAS clean-up costs will exceed $2 billion.

Shaheen’s bill would allow for cleanup of drinking water as well as groundwater that has been contaminated. Much of the funding will be given to the EPA and then to the states, which could oversee programs helping people with wells treat their water. 

It gives preference to treatment methods that destroy PFAS entirely rather than filtration systems that capture PFAS, often leaving the accumulated contaminants in a landfill.

Although, there are some who believe that the $20 billion is too much to invest. “We do appreciate members of Congress offering financial assistance to address a contaminant,” legislative director for the American Water Works Association Tommy Holmes said. 

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