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Key House Committee Advances PFAS Package

Legislative package protects drinking water, marks PFOA & PFOS contaminants as hazardous substances, and takes other actions

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Washington, November 20, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul D. Tonko applauded the advance of comprehensive legislation addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by a vote of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (E&C) during today’s full committee markup. The package of bills is designed to reduce toxic PFAS exposure through air, water and consumer goods and ensure remediation of contaminated water systems, among other things. In addition to being a longtime champion for PFAS safety, Tonko chairs the E&C Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change that advanced the legislative package in September

“Our communities and our families depend on having access to clean water,” Congressman Tonko said. “Unfortunately for many towns, cities, villages and military bases throughout our country, this basic requirement is not being fulfilled due to the contamination of PFAS chemicals in drinking water systems. These pollutants pose a dangerous and potentially deadly threat, and swift and effective action addressing this crisis is essential for our communities. I am grateful to my colleagues in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for their dedication to provide safe and clean drinking water protect our environment and our families.”  

Congressman Tonko has been a longtime advocate pushing for Congress to address the threat of PFAS pollutants and has repeatedly demanded action from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

The PFAS legislative package advanced today would:

  • Designate PFOA and PFOS as a hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a.k.a. “Superfund”
  • Provide grants for PFAS-affected drinking water systems to put in treatment technologies
  • Issue guidance for firefighters to minimize their risks of PFAS exposure
  • Require any Maximum Containment Level (MCL) set by EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is protective of vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, infants, and children
  • Create a voluntary label for pots, pans and cooking utensils that are PFAS-free
  • Require comprehensive testing of all PFAS under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
  • Raise public disclosure standards for communities facing any releases 

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