With leadership from Clean Water Action Rhode Island, the state has adopted numerous policies and regulations to stop the use of toxic chemicals as well as establishing drinking water standards for a number of contaminants, including PFAS. Rhode Island advocates are prioritizing strategies that address environmental disparities in vulnerable communities and eliminate toxic chemicals at the source.
One of the most significant incidents occurred at the former Naval Air Station in Quonset Point, where firefighting foam containing PFAS was used for decades. The contamination was discovered in 2014, and subsequent testing found elevated levels of PFAS in the groundwater and soil at the site, as well as in nearby private wells.
Rhode Island Highlights
Advocates in Rhode Island participated in the national campaign urging REI to ban PFAS “forever chemicals” from their products. In early 2023, following a nationwide campaign and state regulatory actions, REI announced it would phase out PFAS in its textile products and cookware.
Clean Water Action (CWA) has led the fight in Rhode Island to eliminate PFAS in various consumer products, including apparel, carpets, cleaning products, and cookware. Pictured here, CWA Rhode Island State Director Jed Thorp, testified in support of the RI Comprehensive PFAS Ban Act of 2023.