Governor Baker Proposes Funding to Combat Toxic PFAS

Bill would commit $28 million to testing and remediation

Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House. Photo: Jon Bilous via Shutterstock

September 6, 2019 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today after Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker filed a bill that would fund PFAS testing and remediation. The legislation would commit more than $28 million to rid public water supplies of these toxic chemicals.

“It is encouraging to see that Governor Baker has recognized this growing public health crisis and has proposed real dollars to fund a solution,” said Alyssa Rayman-Read, Vice President and Director of CLF Massachusetts. “With the federal government shirking its responsibility, New England’s leaders must step up and commit more than lip service to solving this problem. Families deserve drinking water that is free from these poisonous chemicals.”

The bill also proposes funding for lead and electric vehicle rebates as well as other climate mitigation efforts.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are suspected carcinogens and have been linked to a variety of severe health problems including learning disorders in infants and children, fertility and pregnancy issues and impaired liver, thyroid and pancreatic function. It’s estimated that almost every American has at least one of these substances in their blood.

PFAS contamination is a growing health problem, and they have been found in several cities and towns throughout Massachusetts, including Ayer, Barnstable, Mashpee, and Westfield. The state has already taken steps to regulate a small class of PFAS chemicals, but there are thousands more lurking in our drinking water.

CLF has been pushing for mandatory testing and stronger regulations in Massachusetts and across New England to protect the public from the dangers of PFAS. You can read more about that work here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.