8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin is looking to tackle the PFAS chemical contamination through measures she has secured in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Slotkin, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, will offer amendments today to the NDAA, which is the major annual bill authorizing national defense spending. The provisions she already secured call for three major categories of provisions on PFAS in the NDAA. The first will prevent future contamination by requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to stop using PFAS-laden firefighting foam by 2029 and prohibits the uncontrolled release of the foam in non-emergency situations.

The second category aims to hold the DOD accountable for PFAS remediation by requiring the department to report on best practices for cleanup and disposal, giving the National Guard access to additional environmental remediation funds for five years, and providing an additional $121.3 million in environmental restoration accounts for remediation. The third category requires the department to provide blood testing for each DOD firefighter, authorizes continued funding for a study of the health implications of drinking water contaminated by PFAS, and encourages the DOD to ensure adequate training for individuals in regular contact with the PFAS-laden firefighting foam.

Slotkin tells WHMI, “Our local environment is one of the most bi-partisan issues that I get to work on and I really think we need to start thinking of environmental security the way we think of homeland security. It’s about the safety of our kids and the continuation of our way of life...if you can’t hand your child a glass of water without wondering if it’s going to make them sick, you can’t fish the river that your grandfather fished in, that’s a threat to your way of life and to your kids. So it’s an opportunity to use my seat on the Armed Services Committee to bring something back to the district very specifically.”

The House Armed Services Committee will be considering Slotkin’s amendments, along with others proposed for the DOD’s budget, during a session that she expects could last through the night and into the early morning hours on Thursday. Once the budget is approved by the committee, it will move to the House floor for a vote. (DK)