Murkowski Applauds Inclusion of Measure to Protect Firefighters from PFAS Chemicals in Annual Defense Bill
Murkowski, Shaheen Bill Addresses Health Concerns for Firefighters’ Exposure to PFAS
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) applauded the Senate Armed Services Committee for including measures to address per-and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) exposure within the Committee-approved annual defense bill. This week the Senate Armed Services Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending it to the full Senate for consideration, which included Senator Murkowski and Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) bill, the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act. Their bill would require the Department of Defense to include blood testing for PFAS, a component of firefighting foam, as part of routine physicals for military firefighters.
“This legislation takes an important step towards addressing the public health and safety risks of PFAS,” said Senator Murkowski. “I thank the Senate Armed Services Committee for their work to support our men and women in uniform, including recognizing the importance of supporting military firefighters and the potential health effects of occupational exposure to PFAS. These individuals have risked enough ---dedicating their lives in service of protecting others. It’s only right that we do all we can to, in turn, protect them.”
- In December 2018, Senators Murkowski and Shaheen sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), requesting they take additional steps to ensure potential health impacts in firefighters are sufficiently studied.
- Senator Murkowski is a cosponsor of the PFAS Action Act, legislation that would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances eligible for cleanup funds under the EPA Superfund law, and also enable EPA to recover cleanup costs from responsible parties.
- Senator Murkowski and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, legislation to create a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with the deadly disease. The legislation was signed into law in July 2018.