Dozens of states are taking action against PFAS, the so-called “forever chemicals” that show up in many plastics, other consumer products and the kind of firefighting foam often used at military installations, according to a Pew Trusts Stateline article.
“More governmental bodies are looking and finding PFAS in water, sludge and the air,” said Sarah Doll, national director of the environmental health alliance Safer States. “It’s burgeoning, and I absolutely anticipate it’s going to be all over 2023 policy sessions.”
Some state lawmakers are looking at bans or lawsuits to address PFAS. They’re driven by testing, according to Mara Herman, environmental health manager at the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.
“It’s being found in so many places,” Herman said. “It’s not really an urban issue or a rural issue.”
The Environmental Protection agency has proposed a rule to regulate two common types of PFAS but has not finalized the rulemaking progress. A patchwork, state-by-state approach in the meantime is “ridiculous,” said Laurene Allen, co-founder of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water, a New Hampshire group urging its state to deal with PFAS.
“The progress you have shouldn’t be determined by your ZIP code,” Allen said.
Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees