You may not have heard of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), but you may have heard of “forever chemicals.”
Previously found in everyday items like fire extinguisher foam and nonstick cookware, these materials are man-made, linked to cancer, and do not break down naturally in most environments. They are a very real threat to public health and the environment.
It’s a threat that our community has too much experience with. Last year, news broke that soil and groundwater at the Former Indian River State College’s Fire Training Facility tested positive for PFAS. The year before, the City of Stuart had to undertake a $2 million cleanup after the same substances were detected in several water wells.
Despite the harm they pose, these materials are not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The House of Representatives took action today to change that. The PFAS Action Act of 2021 requires the EPA to designate certain PFAS materials as hazardous and would establish a national drinking water standard related to PFAS.
This is an important step forward in getting rid of forever chemicals once and for all to protect our environment and public health for generations to come.