Bipartisan Defense Bill 'A Positive Step,' But More Needed to Protect People, Wildlife from PFAS, 'Forever Chemicals'

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The passage of the National Defense Authorization Act contains important provisions to help protect people and wildlife alike from dangerous chemicals called PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and clean up contaminated sites, but more needs to be done to address the threats these “forever chemicals” pose to communities across the country.

“The bipartisan passage of the National Defense Authorization Act is a positive step forward, but more can and should be done to require the Department of Defense to move beyond studying the problem and toward aggressive cleanup up of PFAS at its sites,” said Chloe Roddy, a legal fellow with the National Wildlife Federation. “The Biden Administration also should quickly move to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to address PFAS by establishing maximum contaminant levels in drinking water, developing effluent limitation guidelines and ambient water quality criteria through the Clean Water Act, and designating PFASs as hazardous substances under the Superfund cleanup law. These actions, in combination with this legislation, would go a long way toward protecting people and wildlife from widespread contamination found across the country.” 

U.S. military bases across the country, and the communities that surround them, are facing widespread contamination from the use of firefighting foam containing high concentrations of PFASs. These chemicals are spreading to nearby communities and impacted people, wildlife and our natural resources. 

Learn more about the details of the 2021 NDAA here: Bipartisan Defense Bill Begins to Address Toxic PFAS Chemicals

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