New York AG Leads Group Urging PFAS Action

According to a Friday press release, New York Attorney General Letitia James has assembled a coalition of 19 attorneys general to urge the United States Senate to take action on poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often known as “forever chemicals.” The press release describes PFAS as “persistent contaminants in the environment, including in drinking water.”

The seven-page letter sent by the attorneys general to the Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works requests that Congress pass the PFAS Action Act of 2021, which was passed by the House of Representatives over the summer. According to the letter, the bill will provide mechanisms to compel cleanup of PFAS, fund the cleanup of PFAS in water, and prohibit use of firefighting foam that contains PFAS.

“PFAS are associated with severe health effects, including cancer, thyroid disease, and liver damage. Our states are spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to protect our residents from PFAS by remediating PFAS contamination in drinking water, providing alternative drinking water supplies, testing the blood of residents of impacted communities, and determining the scope of contamination,” the letter says.

Attorneys general from California, D.C., Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin joined New York in signing the letter.

James’ press release said “According to the New York State Department of Health, as of September 2021, PFAS have been detected in almost 40 percent of public drinking water supplies in the state, including 60 percent of supplies serving more than 10,000 people.”