Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) led a bipartisan letter with 33 of their House colleagues to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar demanding higher standards and increased oversight for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) near schools and child care facilities. A recent report by the non-partisan Environmental Working Group found that 27 schools and child care facilities across the country are located within a mile of a suspected PFAS discharge sites.
“We urge you to protect the health of our children, families and communities by taking comprehensive and urgent measures to identify and remediate PFAS chemicals in the drinking water of schools and child care facilities across the country,” the lawmakers wrote. “PFAS chemicals are not yet regulated contaminants under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning schools are not required by federal law to test for the presence of PFAS in tap water, nor are they required to filter it out.”
“It is crucial that federal agencies act immediately to protect our children from these harmful toxins,” said Rep. Levin. “Two of the schools in the Environmental Working Group’s report are in Michigan. The science is coming in fast: PFAS is extremely detrimental to children, even in small quantities. If we wait to act, we may cause easily avoidable harm to a generation of children.”
“PFAS chemicals are harmful to human health and have affected communities across the country, including schools in my district,” said Rep. Kildee. “PFAS chemicals have been linked to cancer as well as thyroid, kidney, liver, heart and reproductive problems. We should not be exposing our children to these harmful chemicals. The Trump Administration and Betsy DeVos must take action immediately to protect our children from these toxic forever chemicals.”
“We now know least 27 schools and child care facilities in 18 states – including Michigan – are located within 5,000 feet of manufacturers that are known or suspected of producing or using PFAS,” said Rep. Dingell. “PFAS chemicals have been linked to liver disease, weakened immune systems, thyroid dysfunction, and several forms of cancer. Children need to be kept safe. EPA and the Department of Education must take urgent action to identify and remediate PFAS chemicals near schools.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.