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Senate passes bill that phases out toxic “forever” chemicals in firefighting foam

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1790) with important provisions to phase out by 2023 the use of firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluouroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have been the cause of drinking water contamination across the United States. It also included provisions to add PFAS to the list of contaminants tracked by a national water-quality monitoring network, require drinking-water utilities to test for PFAS chemicals, and require manufacturers to report, through the Toxic Release Inventory, air and water discharges of many PFAS chemicals.

In response, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Acting Director Liz Hitchcock issued the following statement:

“Communities across the country are suffering devastating health effects from drinking water contamination caused by the use of firefighting foam that contain this highly toxic and persistent class of chemicals. Today’s Senate vote begins the process of turning off the tap on the military’s use of these chemicals by 2023. We applaud the Senate for its swift timeline for action to respond to this public health crisis and look forward to working with the House as they continue to move this important provision forward.”

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