Politics Mark Ruffalo joins bipartisan lawmakers in introducing chemical regulation bill
Attention, lawmakers — regulation is more popular than you think
The Biden-Harris administration should not be timid in pursuing its agenda — no matter how loud the bad faith protests from regulatory critics might be — because it has the public on its side. Sidney Shapiro is the Frank U. Fletcher chair in law, Wake Forest University and the vice president of the Center for Progressive Reform.
Actor Mark Ruffalo joined two Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday to announce the introduction of legislation that would increase regulations on certain chemicals.
Reps. Debbie Dingell (D) and Fred Upton (R) introduced the PFAS Action Act, a measure designed to protect consumers from perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances that can be found in water, food and fish.
Prolonged exposure to the chemical substances can lead to cancer and thyroid disruption, according to the .
Robert Downey Jr. and His Marvel Pals Celebrate His 56th Birthday: 'Love Ya Mate'
Robert Downey Jr. was celebrated by his pals Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner on his birthday
"In this divided climate we're in, water's a good way for us to find common ground," said Ruffalo, who produced and starred in the 2019 film "Dark Waters," based on a true story, as a lawyer challenging a company that knowingly discharged the same chemicals into the air and water.
Ruffalo said he was astonished to learn that about 2,500 companies in 2020 were still the substances into the environment, according to a report from the Environmental Working Group.
"Who's going to pay if we don't act? It's us," he said. "It's the real people, people who live in frontline communities. Real people who are paying the price in the form of higher health care costs and water bills, and the kids are going to pay and they're going to pay for the rest of their lives."
Missouri Man Jason Siesser Tried to Buy Enough Chemical Weapons to Kill 300 People on Dark Web
The chemical can cause severe mercury poisoning, something that can result in slurred speech, physical impairment, vomiting, blindness, loss of hearing, coma and even death. Your browser does not support this video Siesser ordered enough of the chemical to capably kill around 300 people, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said. He reportedly made his purchases off of the dark web, a part of the internet that is only accessible through special software that lets users and website operators remain untraceable and anonymous.
The House a similar bill in January 2020 in a 247-159 vote, but the measure stalled in the Senate.
Dingell on Tuesday said PFAS have been an urgent, public health concern for a long time. She said Michiganders know the importance of having clean drinking water, an apparent reference to the multi-year contamination of the drinking water in Flint.
She said the previous bill passed with bipartisan support in the House and hopes it will move forward in a Democratic-controlled Senate and with the Biden administration vowing to address the issue. During the campaign, Biden to designate PFAS as hazardous and set enforceable limits on the substances.
"Too many people don't even know it's a forever chemical that's in all parts of things they touch every single day," Dingell said.
Upton said the legislation would direct the EPA to work with the private sector to inform consumers and take steps to clean up PFAS-contaminated sites.
"Whether it's dealing with our airports or military bases, communities, this is a bad substance, and people need to be warned about it," he said Tuesday.
Upton said his colleagues in Congress are becoming more educated about this issue since the previous bill and are granting more recognition and attention to providing the adequate response to these chemicals.
"Hopefully we'll build upon that support and work with an administration that I'm convinced would accept this, if it gets to the president's desk," he said.
Trump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle .
Ninety-two senators voted last week to advance an Asian American hate crimes bill. But its passage likely depends on Democrats agreeing to soften language that Republicans say ties hate crimes too narrowly to the characterization of COVID-19 as the "China virus."Even Republicans who voted to advance the hate crimes legislation sponsored by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) see it as a jab at President Trump. The bill links his characterization of COVID-19 as the "China virus" to racist and hateful acts. Republicans also see language in the bill as opening the door to politically correct thought-police squads.