Passage of Legislation Restricting Sale of Toxic Chemicals in Maryland Applauded by Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Legacy Toxins in Carpets, Food Packaging, Firefighting Foam Prohibited

Washington, DC – April 21 – Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) applauds Maryland’s General Assembly for passing the “George “Walter” Taylor Act which prohibits the sale of certain products containing PFAS which Gov. Larry Hogan signed today, PRKN President Nancy Stoner announced today.

Said Stoner, PFAS chemicals are dangerous to public health and because they do not break down, are truly “forever” toxins.  They have been found in fish and in drinking water in Maryland and this legislation is an important first step in their control.

The chemicals are found in a wide array of products, both household and industrial. They are a common component in firefighting foam as well as food packaging, carpets, and rugs, and as a result, come in frequent contact with firefighters and consumers.

Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper for PRKN, was instrumental in passing the legislation.  His investigation of fish species in the Antietam Creek was the source of scientific data to publicize the issue, as was his testing of drinking water locations near Hagerstown, MD. He also testified before the General Assembly on the gravity of the issue and the solutions necessary to protect public health.

The Act, called the “George ‘Walter’ Taylor Act”, for the Maryland firefighter who died from illness caused by a lifetime of service and who left behind a wife and family in Southern Maryland.

Walls concluded, “There is still much to be done about PFAS.  This is only a small step in the right direction. Maryland must institute broad and rigorous testing of PFAS in all sectors like wastewater treatment plant effluent, biosolids used on crops and fish consumption advisories.”

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About Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Potomac Riverkeeper Network is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with three regional Waterkeeper branches: Potomac Riverkeeper, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper. Our mission is to protect the public’s right to clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and their tributaries. We stop pollution to enhance the safety of our drinking water, protect healthy river habitats, and enhance public use and enjoyment.

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