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Pallone, Tonko Praise House Passage of PFAS Action Act

Jan 10, 2020
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) released the following statement today praising House passage of H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019, which passed the full House of Representatives by a vote of 247-159:

“Today we took decisive action to protect the communities we represent from the rising tide of PFAS contamination.  These toxic ‘forever chemicals’ are an urgent health threat, and due to EPA inaction, PFAS contamination has spread throughout our environment.  While the Trump Administration appears comfortable dragging its feet, we are not.  Impacted communities demand action, and passage of this comprehensive PFAS package brings them significantly closer to having the protections they need.

“PFAS contamination is right now putting millions of Americans’ health and lives at risk, and this is no time for partisan posturing.  The Senate should consider this legislation urgently and thoughtfully so we can deliver concrete solutions to this pressing public health crisis.”

H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019, was introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and reported favorably out of the Energy and Commerce Committee in November. The bill would require EPA to use tools under several different environmental statutes to:

  • Limit human exposure to PFAS by requiring a drinking water standard for PFAS that protects public health, including the health of vulnerable subpopulations like pregnant women, infants and children, and holding polluters accountable. The legislation also provides grants to impacted water systems, creates a voluntary label for cookware that is PFAS free, and provides guidance for first responders to limit their exposures;
  • Stem the flow of PFAS contamination into the environment by requiring cleanup of sites contaminated with PFOA and PFOS, setting air emission limits, prohibiting unsafe incineration of PFAS, and limiting the introduction of new PFAS chemicals into commerce;
  • Identify health risks by requiring comprehensive health testing for all PFAS, reporting of PFAS releases, and monitoring for PFAS in drinking water.