Yay! Another step forward in the fight against hazardous water pollution! On Tuesday, the U.S. House passed the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). While most of the bill is not related to water, it DOES include some good regulation regarding PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) pollution generated by the U.S. military.
What is PFAS? It’s a toxic group of chemicals that has been leaching into our drinking water. PFAS exposure causes higher total and LDL cholesterol, and liver and kidney problems including liver lesions, kidney degeneration, and damage to liver function. It’s also been noted for causing low birth weights and other problems.
PFAS is found in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, cleaning products, grease-resistant paper, fast food containers/wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes, candy wrappers, and water-resistant clothing. It’s also in the stain resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics.
One of the provisions requires DOD to expand its research base for finding PFAS-chemical alternatives for firefighting foam as well as how to better dispose of PFAS.
Additionally, the bill includes several research grants for these endeavors. Other provisions relate to studying the quality of water and wastewater infrastructure on military bases and authorizing the construction of a wastewater treatment facility in Twentynine Palms, California. The CA marine base is notorious for the high level of toxins in its water.
A PFAS-related amendment to the bill was passed in committee. Offered by Rep. Slotkin (D-MI), it required DOD to use the strictest of guidelines for remediation and removal of PFAS.
PFAS is still a problem in our water, but at least some steps are being taken to help America.
IX Water has introduced environmentally-friendly technology for removing hazardous contaminants like PFAS from wastewater. To join the movement for clean water visit: StartEngine.com/ix-water