Environmental groups urge Congress back to the table on PFAS

Media Contacts
Ross Sherman

Environment America

WASHINGTON — Two major environmental organizations are calling on Congress today to come back to the negotiating table to protect the public from toxic “forever chemicals.” Environment America and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) denounced the recent decision by lawmakers to drop critical protections against these chemicals from the National Defense Authorization Act.

Katie Murtha, Vice President of Government Affairs at Environment America and Madeleine Foote, Deputy Legislative Director at LCV issued the following statement:

“Millions of people are depending on Congress to pass meaningful legislation to clean up these chemicals and protect us from further contamination.

“For nearly a year, Congress has been crafting legislation to protect the public from these chemicals. Lawmakers, including Sen. Tom Carper (DE), have worked tirelessly to ensure that effective safeguards not only pass Congress, but become law. We were heartened when the House unanimously approved Reps. Debbie Dingell (MI) and Dan Kildee’s (MI) provision to kickstart cleanup and hold polluters financially accountable for contamination through the Superfund program. These protections have the backing of 54 bipartisan senators, showing their broad appeal. Other important provisions, such as Rep. Chris Pappas’ (NH) provision to limit dumping of PFAS into rivers, similarly had unanimous backing.

“Despite the overwhelming support for these safeguards, Congress is on the verge of wasting this important opportunity to protect public health.

“While the importance of a rapid phaseout of PFAS chemicals at military installations — a key provision that remains in the bill — cannot be overstated, Congress must not squander the opportunity to make even greater strides to protect the public — strides that until this week were agreed upon.

“Therefore, we strongly urge members to reconsider this misguided decision to drop key Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water and Superfund protections.”