Created as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget, the 19-member task force will work to develop response plan strategies, explore various treatment and disposal options, and assess how state agencies can most effectively reduce or eliminate the risks associated with PFAS contamination. As part of its investigation, the task force will look at the use of fluorinated aqueous forming foam in firefighting and fire training activities and evaluate effective non-fluorinated alternatives, while also examining ways to limit Massachusetts residents’ exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances through food packaging.
“One of the first bills Kelly filed as a legislator was a proposal to have the Department of Environmental Protection study the effect of PFAS substances in commercial products,” said Representative Jones. “His advocacy efforts in this area will serve the task force well as it works to address the serious public health and environmental issues associated with PFAS exposure.”
The task force is being co-chaired by Representative Kate Hogan of Stow and Senator Julian Cyr of Truro, and will also include among its members a scientist with expertise in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance-contaminated water, and a physician trained in environmental medicine. Additional members serving on the task force include the attorney general; the secretary of energy and environmental affairs; the secretary of public safety and security; the commissioner of environmental protection; the commissioner of public health; the commissioner of agricultural resources; the director of the Massachusetts emergency management agency; the state fire marshal; the executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Inc.; the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; and the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, Inc.
The task force is scheduled to report back to the Legislature with its findings and recommendations by December 31, 2021.
Pease was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November of 2020. He is currently serving as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and is also a member of the Joint Committees on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets; Education; and Veterans and Federal Affairs.