Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin has joined a newly formed U.S. House task force that will focus on health threats from toxic chemicals in ground and surface waters.

The Holly Democrat was among eleven lawmakers from Michigan to join the Congressional PFAS Task Force, which is co-chaired by Flint Democrat, Rep. Dan Kildee. Leaders say the bipartisan panel will work to educate members of Congress on dangers from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The chemicals are used in a wide variety of industrial processes and household products.

Slotkin said that the near-weekly discovery of new PFAS sites in Michigan is “more than random data points” and represents a growing trend that needs to be addressed. She added that we need to, “start thinking about environmental security the same way we think about homeland security -- because it’s about the health and safety of our kids, and our way of life here in Michigan.”

The lawmakers say they'll also develop legislation to address PFAS contamination and seek more federal funding for cleanups. Pending bills would speed up detection and cleanup efforts at sites around the nation.

It was also Thursday that in addition to serving on the House Armed Services Committee, Slotkin will serve on the Homeland Security Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. A former CIA analyst and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, Rep. Slotkin will bring 14 years of national security experience to her role.

“As someone who has spent my career working to protect the Homeland as a national security professional, I look forward to working on some of our country’s most pressing issues, including cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection, border security, counterterrorism, and protecting and enhancing our election systems. I’m also eager to get to work on issues affecting Michigan in particular that I believe need to be approached from a homeland security perspective -- namely the growing drinking water crisis in our state, and other environmental security concerns,” said Slotkin.