Kiggans introduces bill to protect military personnel from PFAS

November 11, 2023
 |
Jen Kiggans

 Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced she and Congresswomen Jennifer McClellan (VA-04) have introduced H.R. 6095, the Department of Defense PFAS Discharge Prevention Act. This bipartisan legislation would protect military personnel and American families from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) released from Department of Defense (DoD) facilities.

DoD facilities are one of the major contributors of PFAS contamination in drinking water sources. According to a new DoD report, at least 245 U.S. bases are contaminating or threatening to pollute drinking water for nearby communities, and hundreds more are likely at risk. This is caused by various technologies used at DoD installations, particularly firefighting foam laced with the chemicals discharged during emergencies or training exercises.

On Friday, Hampton Roads’ 13News Now featured a report on H.R. 6095.

“Access to clean drinking water should never be something our citizens have to worry about,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I’m proud to co-lead this important bipartisan effort to address this decades-old problem. By addressing the root of this problem, I’m hopeful that we can provide peace-of-mind to Americans across the country.”

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“PFAS contamination from our nation’s military and defense facilities poses a major threat to our hardworking military personnel, their families and residents in nearby communities,” said Congresswoman McClellan. “Exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals can result in adverse health outcomes and drastically impact the well-being of our servicemembers and everyday Americans. I am proud to introduce the bipartisan Department of Defense PFAS Discharge Prevention Act to empower the Department to take the necessary steps to effectively remediate PFAS contamination and protect public health.”

BACKGROUND 

The Department of Defense PFAS Discharge Prevention Act would:

  • Require the Secretary of Defense to request permit revisions to allow for PFAS remediation through carbon filtration at DoD stormwater management outflows, and;
  • Mandate DoD use a small portion of remediation funding for PFAS testing onsite at DoD water management facilities to allow the Department to better capture PFAS before it flows into waterways off base.

Exposure to certain levels of PFAS may lead to reproductive issues such as decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women, developmental effects in children, increased risk of cancers, autoimmune disorders, hormone imbalances, high cholesterol, and obesity. 

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