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DeFazio, Napolitano, and Pappas Applaud the EPA’s Proactive Plan to Fight PFAS Pollution in Nation’s Waters

October 18, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcing a proactive plan to reduce polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution in the nation’s waters, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), and Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH) issued the following statements:

“The plan the EPA announced today is the clearest roadmap we have for addressing the most immediate sources of ‘forever chemicals’ that seep into our waters and sewer systems and gravely impact public health,” Chair DeFazio said. “Unlike the previous plan, this one includes deadlines for setting standards and reducing discharges. It also directs the EPA to continue to gather additional research to ensure we’re making decisions about PFAS discharges based on the latest and best science available. As chair of the committee with jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act, I’m going to continue to do all I can to protect our communities against water pollution and make sure the EPA is making progress on implementing this important plan.”

“As Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, I applaud today’s announcement by the EPA, coinciding with the 49th anniversary of the Clean Water Act,” Chair Napolitano said. “During a recent hearing we examined various emerging contaminants, including forever chemicals like PFAS, the threats they pose to public health and our environment, and the roles that federal and state governments should play to protect our health and the health our water resources. We thank the Biden administration for prioritizing the well-being of our communities and for their continued work to restore the critical mission of the EPA.”

“It is welcome news that the EPA has announced they will accelerate their efforts to establish nationwide drinking water standards for PFAS, address industrial discharges of PFAS, and establish a national testing strategy,” Congressman Chris Pappas said. “While these are important steps forward, I continue to urge the EPA to issue regulations on the use of PFAS for known industries that are actively discharging these forever chemicals. If we are going to protect our constituents from these toxic chemicals, we need to move as quickly as possible. I’m committed to working alongside the EPA to ensure all of our communities have access to clean, safe drinking water.”

To learn more about the EPA’s plan, visit: www.epa.gov/pfas 

Background:

In January 2020, Chair DeFazio offered his support for H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019. This comprehensive legislation attempts to prevent or limit human and environmental exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) related chemicals from a variety of pathways, as well as spur the cleanup of PFAS-related contamination. To learn more, click here.

In March 2021, Chair DeFazio, Chair Napolitano, and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, which included $1 billion in municipal grants to treat PFAS and other emerging contaminants. It passed the House as a part of the INVEST in America Act in July 2021. To learn more, click here.

In July 2021, the PFAS Action Act of 2021—introduced by Representative Pappas and supported by Chairs DeFazio and Napolitano—passed in the House. This legislation includes key policy provisions from the Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act of 2021. To learn more, click here.

In September 2021, DeFazio, Napolitano, and Pappas applauded the EPA’s plans to limit discharge of PFAS and urged the agency to go further to protect public health. To learn more, click here.

In October 2021, the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing to examine various perspectives on emerging contaminates, and their impact on public health and water quality. To learn more, click here.

 

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