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Bipartisan House PFAS Package Advances Out of Rules Committee Setting up Major House Vote

Bill would establish drinking water protections, designate PFAS as hazardous substances and more

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Washington, January 8, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON—The Rules Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives voted late yesterday to set the terms for floor debate on a bold legislative package—shepherded in large part by Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) who chairs the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change—to address the growing threat of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals.” Passage by the Rules Committee paves the way for a floor debate and vote on the package later this week.

“PFAS chemicals have had a devastating effect on the health and welfare of countless families in New York and across our nation,” Congressman Tonko said. “Despite the urgent need to act on this issue, not enough has been done to protect our communities from these dangerous and potentially deadly pollutants. Our legislation would change that, taking necessary steps to reduce human exposure to PFAS contaminants and ensuring remediation of communities that have already be affected.” 

Rep. Tonko has made it a top priority in this Congress to advance legislation addressing PFAS contamination and cleanup. An earlier version of this legislative package was marked up and approved by Tonko’s Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change in September of last year. Tonko was also highly critical of a Senate decision in late 2019 to remove significant PFAS provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

A House floor vote on the PFAS package is expected later this week.

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