Clock ticking on ‘forever chemicals’? Biden win spurs revival of plans for federal regulation


Toxic PFAS chemicals that contaminate water and soil in many areas of New Jersey and across the country stand a better chance of national regulation under the incoming Biden administration than they have done for the past four years, advocates for their control predicted Tuesday.

New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is expected to play a key role in renewing support for the PFAS Action Act, a bill that was passed by the House in January this year but died in the Senate, and will be reintroduced in the new Congress.

PFAS are widespread, and are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment, and accumulate in the human body, scientists say. In 2009 and 2010, the chemicals were found in two-thirds of 33 New Jersey public water systems tested, according to a DEP report issued in 2014.

“Addressing forever chemicals continues to be a top priority for Congressman Pallone,” his office said in a statement. “He was pleased to push through the PFAS Action Plan earlier this year in the House but was disappointed when the Senate refused to act. It will remain a priority for the congressman in the upcoming Congress.”

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NJ Spotlight News, 19 November 2020