WASHINGTON — The U.S. House held a hearing today to discuss ways to remedy widespread pollution from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce have introduced a group of 13 bills over the past several months to address this pervasive contamination.
Bart Johnsen-Harris, clean water advocate for Environment America, and Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director for U.S. PIRG, issued the following statement:
“Every day we fail to clean up our drinking water, more children and their families are at risk of cancer or other serious health problems. We applaud Chairman Frank Pallone and his colleagues for pushing to expeditiously clean up contamination and provide much-needed assistance to affected communities.
“We need strong safeguards to protect every person’s drinking water in this country. At today’s hearing, we heard how bipartisan legislation such as Rep. Debbie Dingell’s PFAS Action Act would drive cleanup at contaminated sites by using the Superfund program. Rep. Brendan Boyle’s Protect Drinking Water from PFAS Act would establish an enforceable standard to shield our drinking water. These crucial steps are necessary to properly protect people from toxic PFAS chemicals.
“Environment America and U.S. PIRG urge Congress to quickly pass these pieces of legislation to address the growing threat of PFAS. Additionally, we need to improve the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency effectively protects our drinking water from PFAS and other emerging contaminants. We are thankful that so many members of Congress recognize the dangers PFAS pose to our communities, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to assure any further contamination is prevented by phasing out existing uses of PFAS chemicals. The millions of Americans whose drinking water is at risk cannot afford delay on any of these measures.”