May 10, 2019

Manchin, Stabenow And Rubio Introduce Bipartisan PFAS Accountability Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today led eight other Senators in announcing the introduction of the PFAS Accountability Act. This legislation would hold federal agencies accountable for addressing contamination for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at military bases across the country. It comes just days after the release of a new report showing that Michigan has the most PFAS-contaminated sites in the nation.

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this bipartisan bill that will make sure federal agencies and military bases are accountable for reporting and cleaning up PFAS. These chemicals are incredibly dangerous and we need to ensure that every effort is taken to correct the situation, when water supplies or land have been contaminated. This issue directly impacts West Virginia because of the PFAS clean-up efforts at the national guard base in Martinsburg,” said Senator Manchin. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure that our water supplies are protected because every West Virginian and American deserves access to clean drinking water.”

“The last thing that Michigan families who were exposed to PFAS-contaminated water and soil need is finger pointing from our federal agencies,” said Senator Stabenow. “Our legislation will bring quicker relief for families by holding the Department of Defense and all federal agencies more accountable.”

“I am proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing the bipartisan PFAS Accountability Act to ensure federal agencies have the ability to constructively engage with states to protect our drinking water, soils, and wetlands,” said Senator Rubio. “As we learn new information about PFAS chemicals, it’s critical that federal agencies who may have inadvertently contributed to contamination issues partner with our local communities to limit potential exposure to PFAS compounds.”

The PFAS Accountability Act sets clear deadlines and reporting requirements for cleaning up PFAS contamination at federal facilities across the country, including active and decommissioned military bases, and mandates greater transparency. It calls on federal facilities, including military and National Guard installations, to expedite cooperative agreements with states to address PFAS contamination. These agreements commit the federal government to take specific actions and enable states and local communities to be reimbursed for costs incurred to address PFAS contamination.

If a cooperative agreement is not reached within a year after a state requests one, the bill requires a federal agency such as the Department of Defense to send a report to Congress explaining the reason for the delay and a projected timeline for completing the agreement. In addition, the bill enables the federal government to issue grants to states, local communities, and tribes to take actions to address drinking, ground and surface waters contaminated by PFAS.

The bill was also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).