Dingell slams Trump EPA chief for PFAS standard inaction
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) assailed President Donald Trump’s U.S. EPA chief on Thursday over the agency’s failure to set a national drinking water standard for harmful contaminants known as PFAS. The Michigan lawmaker, who took office in 2015, said she’s been promised since she arrived in Congress that a national standard for chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, was coming “any second.” She asked EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at a hearing Thursday, “When do you think that we are really going to get a final drinking water standard … to protect the American people in our environment?” Last Friday, the agency proposed to regulate two PFAS chemicals known as PFOS and PFOA and announced that it would take public comment on those plans. On Thursday, several Michigan Democratic members of Congress announced $13.5 million for PFAS cleanup of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda. It comes from $60 million that Congress had recently provided the DoD to spend to address PFAS contamination at decommissioned bases around the country. In January, Kildee, Dingell, Slotkin, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing), U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield), U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.), U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) wrote to Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett requesting that the Air Force prioritize Wurtsmith and key former military installations in Michigan.