Wildlife lovers, it’s time to raise our collective voice! House Bill 1399, currently making its way through the legislature, poses a serious threat to wildlife and humans alike. The bill will receive its first Senate hearing on Monday, February 19th in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee. We urge you to contact your State Senators this week and encourage them to oppose this harmful bill!
HB 1399 is a bill that is promoted by the business entities that manufacture toxic chemicals. PFAS can be bought for $50 – $1,000 per pound (according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) but costs between $2.5 million and $18 million per pound to remove and destroy from municipal wastewater! We have all seen the harm and cost borne out using toxic materials such as lead in our drinking water delivery systems, the cost of PFAS cleanup will dwarf these historic issues. If ever there is a time to heed the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” it is NOW!
- HB 1399 weakens protections against PFAS contamination: PFAS, known as “forever chemicals” due to their persistence in the environment, are linked to numerous health problems in humans and wildlife:
- Reproductive issues: Reduced birth rates, developmental abnormalities, and impaired fertility.
- Immune system suppression: Making animals more susceptible to diseases and infections.
- Organ damage: Affecting livers, kidneys, and other vital organs.
- Endocrine disruption: Interfering with hormone function, impacting growth, metabolism, and behavior.
- PFAS pollution has already made many fish unsafe to eat: A peer-reviewed article published by the Environmental Working Group (ESG) shows that PFAS contamination in freshwater fish far outpaces that of marine species. The highest levels of contamination are found in and around the Great Lakes. Fish in locations like Indiana are so polluted that eating a single freshwater fish will expose you to the same levels of PFAS as drinking highly contaminated water for an entire month!
- Increases potential for future contamination: By reducing regulations on industrial polluters, HB 1399 could pave the way for more PFAS to enter our waterways and soil, impacting wildlife across the state for generations to come. This bill would make Indiana the most regressive state on PFAS regulation. Our legislature knows how harmful PFAS can be. Just last year they passed legislation aimed at protecting firefighters from these deadly chemicals, yet this legislation would increase Hoosier’s exposure to these cancer-causing agents.
- We do not yet understand how severe the risk of PFAS pollution is in Indiana: Due to an overwhelming lack of data, we do not yet have adequate baseline information to understand how severe the problem of PFAS pollution is in Indiana. We do know that when we look for PFAS in our water we find it. States such as Michigan which have invested significantly more money in determining the levels of PFAS pollution have found extremely high levels of these forever chemicals in many fish, including several species of bass, walleye, and catfish, as well as white-tailed deer. This alarming level of pollution is making wild protein, often thought of as the healthiest source of protein, unsafe for human consumption.
What you can do:
- Contact your State Senator: Find your Senator’s contact information HERE.
- Express your concerns: Clearly explain why you oppose HB 1399 and highlight the specific dangers it poses to wildlife due to PFAS contamination.
- Urge your Senator to vote NO on HB 1399.
- Share this action alert: Spread the word to your friends, family, and fellow wildlife enthusiasts!
Together, we can make our voices heard and protect Indiana’s irreplaceable wildlife from the dangers of PFAS and other harmful pollutants!
Remember, your voice matters! Act today!