Have you ever wondered whether your well water is contaminated?
Along with 43 million private well water users in the United States, you might be able to use an online tool on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s website to learn about the quality of your well water if “The Test Your Well Water Act” makes it through the legislative process.
H.R.4567 – To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a household well water testing website, and for other purposes, was introduced by Rep. Daniel T. Kildee (MI-5) on July 20 in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (bill tracking link). Co-sponsors of the bipartisan legislation include Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Congressman Ron Kind (WI-03), Congressman Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-08).
Well Water Quality Not Regulated by Federal or State Agencies; The Test Your Well Water Act to Provide Transparency and Resources.
The legislation will create an online tool on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website for Americans with a private well to find resources to test their drinking water and understand what those results mean, Rep. Kildee’s press release explains. This tool would promote transparency, modernize and simplify access to EPA resources to help people potentially exposed to toxic chemicals. 43 million Americans get their drinking water from well water that is currently unregulated from both the federal and state government.
“Many communities, including Oscoda in my district, have for years been dealing with the impact of contaminated well water. Having an easy interactive online tool through the EPA will make it easier for people to test their well water and make sure it is safe to drink and free from PFAS chemicals,” said Congressman Kildee. “I am proud to have worked with both Republicans and Democrats on this legislation and I will continue to push legislation to make sure all Americans have access to clean drinking water and address PFAS.”
Cleaning Up PFAS.
Kildee has championed cleaning up per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), successfully negotiating the passage of H.R. 2467, the PFAS Action Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives, with strong Democratic and Republican support.
According to the EPA, PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. They don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
Citing the EPA, PFAS can be found in:
- Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
- Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs).
- Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
- Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
- Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.
- Although PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.
PFAS are found in a wide range of consumer products that people use daily such as cookware, pizza boxes and stain repellents, according to the EPA, and most people have been exposed to PFAS. Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in human.