House Energy & Commerce Panel Considers Sweeping PFAS Package

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For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

WASHINGTON – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider a package of bills today addressing risks from the highly toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS.

The panel, chaired by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), will consider the PFAS Action Act, an amendment offered by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) that incorporates several bills passed out of the Environment Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). Among other things, the amendment would require EPA to set a national primary drinking water standard, regulate air emissions of PFAS, require polluters to report PFAS releases and kick-start the cleanup of contaminated sites.

EWG legislative attorney Melanie Benesh praised the committee’s forthcoming action today.

We applaud the historic markup by Chairman Pallone and other members of the committee that will take place today.

As many as 110 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with PFAS, which has been linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, and reduced effectiveness of vaccines. This package of bills represents a crucial first step in tackling the growing PFAS contamination crisis and finally offering some relief to communities polluted by toxic PFAS.

Many of these provisions are included the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020, including designation of PFAS as “hazardous substances.” The House version of the NDAA also reduces discharges of PFAS into drinking water supplies and quickly end the military’s use of PFAS in fire-fighting foam and food packaging.

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