MASSPIRG’s Legislative Director, Deirdre Cummings, talked to WAMC’s Paul Tuthill public health threats posed by toxic PFAS and a new bill on Beacon hill to phase out the chemicals.
The proposed Act to protect Massachusetts public health from PFAS, HD 3324 & SD 2053 filed by Rep. Kate Hogan (Stow) and Sen. Julian Cyr (Truro) for the new 2023-24 legislative session, will be one of the nation’s strongest bills to protect the public from PFAS contamination.
Because PFAS are used in such a wide array of products, from firefighting foam to clothing to food packaging and much more, they have gotten into our water, air, and soil. In fact, 169 public water systems in more than 80 Massachusetts cities and towns—from the Berkshires to the Cape—have tested above the state’s Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of PFAS in their drinking water.
“The most important part of the bill is that it “turns off the tap” of toxic PFAS by banning its use in almost all products,” said Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director, MASSPIRG, preventing the problem from getting even worse.”
Key components of An Act to protect Massachusetts public health from PFAS :
- Bans PFAS in almost all products, starting with food packaging, children’s products, fabric treatments, cookware, personal care products, cookware, carpets and rugs, and upholstered furniture and firefighter protective gear by Jan 1, 2026. All other products must be PFAS free by Jan. 2030.
- Regulates PFAS as a class of chemicals.
- Establishes a fund for drinking water remediation.
- Requires the Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP) to restrict industry discharges of PFAS to groundwater and surface water.