PFAS Impacts on Fish and Wildlife

Number 2020-05

WHEREAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been recognized as an environmental contaminant group with risks to humans, fish, and wildlife, ecosystem; and

WHEREAS, PFASs have been manufactured and utilized in products ranging from fire-fighting foams to consumer products like Teflon cookware, household cleaning products and other fire-, grease-, stain-, and water-repellant goods; and

WHEREAS, PFASs from the manufacturing and use of these products have been found in drinking water supplies in at least 43 states around the nation; and

WHEREAS, many PFASs are persistent, can cycle in the environment for years, and pose some risks to fish and wildlife, though more research is needed, in particular on ecological exposures and effects; and

WHEREAS, the capacity of PFASs to impact human health, as well as the issuance of fish and game consumption advisories in Michigan and other states, has alerted hunters, anglers and the general public to their dangers; and

WHEREAS, there are lands and waters contaminated by high levels of PFAS that are used by Indigenous and non-Indigenous hunting and fishing populations for subsistence consumption of fish and wildlife; and

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan in its establishment of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), a collaborative of seven state agencies, has set a precedent for state action, including via targeted monitoring of this group of chemicals through aggressive surveillance and response plans; and

WHEREAS, MPART may serve as a model for other states and federal agencies to collaborate in solving the various issues relating to PFASs.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation, at its Annual Meeting assembled June 12, 2020, support PFAS education for the public and our affiliates as well as support state and federal agencies in doing the necessary research to better address the issue, especially relating to fish and wildlife; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that there is a need for national, state, and local organizations to collaborate and better facilitate the objective decision making needed to find solutions to PFAS contamination to better prevent, contain, and mitigate ecosystem level impacts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NWF encourages government and industry partners to facilitate the phasing out of PFASs in industrial manufacturing production processes and work to limit pollution from industrial and other sources of discharge, including point- and non-point sources of PFAS release; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NWF urges Congress to support studies on potential PFAS impacts to wildlife, including a broader suite of bird, reptile and amphibian, and mammalian species at risk and that this research be used to inform the development of appropriate regulatory structures; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NWF encourages the United States Environmental Protection Agency as well as state and tribal agencies to establish guidance concerning initiation or expansion, as appropriate, of incorporation of PFASs into fish and wildlife consumption advisory programs, including considering implications of exposures to multiple PFASs as well as other contaminants.