“PFAS chemicals are a toxic scourge on our environment and our health,” said CLF attorney James Crowley. “These forever chemicals have no place in our water, and this bill will help ensure that Rhode Islanders can feel confident that our drinking water is safe. We look forward to Governor McKee signing this bill into law, and we urge the Department of Health to work quickly to adopt a permanent drinking water standard.”
Massachusetts regulated six dangerous PFAS chemicals. It’s a good start but, like its New England neighbors, more can be done to safeguard our drinking water.
Every New Hampshire resident should be able to turn on their taps without wondering if the water is safe to drink. Yet a judge’s order to postpone testing of public water systems for dangerous chemicals is leaving residents in the dark about how best to keep themselves and their families safe.
“We should never have to wonder if the water coming out of our taps is safe,” said Jen Duggan, Director of CLF Vermont. “The federal government has utterly failed to protect us from these toxic forever chemicals, so it is up to Vermont to take action. Vermonters must make their voices heard and tell regulators to put standards in place that get all of these chemicals out of our water once and for all.”
Even as we mourn the lives lost to COVID-19 and absorb the heavy toll it has taken on our economy, we must recognize that the old “normal” left too many communities unhealthy and especially vulnerable to the pandemic. Replicating that old “normal” will squander an opportunity to reduce climate danger while building healthier and more just communities for all.
Toxic “forever chemicals” are everywhere: in our nonstick pans, our food packaging, our water-repellant rain jackets. The Vermont legislature is considering a bill that would protect us from these dangerous chemicals by banning PFAS in food packaging, carpets, and firefighting foam. This bill will help keep toxic “forever chemicals” out of our products and out of our drinking water.
A bill currently under consideration by the Rhode Island General Assembly would force overdue action to address this public health threat.
The Maine PFAS Task Force recently released a draft of its recommendations for how to protect residents from these dangerous chemicals, but they fall well short of the bold action that is needed. But there are still opportunities for legislators and regulators to make a difference.
“This is great news for public health in the Commonwealth,” said CLF President Brad Campbell. “I applaud Governor Baker for setting protective standards for six of the so-far unregulated toxic PFAS compounds showing up in drinking water systems throughout New England, and for giving Massachusetts cities and towns new resources in his supplemental budget to make local water supplies safe.”
“It’s imperative that we end childhood lead poisoning in our lifetime,” said Amy Laura Cahn, Director of CLF’s Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice program. “Don’t be fooled into thinking that families will be protected by this proposed change. We need a health-based standard that recognizes the only safe level of lead for kids is zero. That – and removing lead pipes from our water infrastructure – must be the only goal for regulators.”