Clean Water Action Applauds Committee Passage of Comprehensive Legislation to Address PFAS Contamination & Exposure

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
PFAS Rhode Island

South Amboy, NJ – Today, Clean Water Action joined Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. to applaud the passage of legislation to address PFAS contamination and exposure by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Pallone serves as Chairman.

“We applaud Congressman Pallone for his aggressive legislative action on PFAS,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director of Clean Water Action. “PFAS is a ‘forever chemical’ that manufacturers have known nearly forever will cause irreversible health harms to people and the environment. Yet to this very day, they keep producing it, putting it in products and contaminating our bodies, water, air and land.” 

The PFAS Action Act of 2019 requires that within one year of enactment that the EPA Administrator shall designate all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances as hazardous substances under section 102(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). 

“Classifying PFAS as a hazardous substance under CERCLA Superfund program is an important step toward holding polluters accountable for the harm they have done,” said Goldsmith. “To prevent further harm, we need to remove PFAS from production and products not substitute one bad ‘forever chemical’ for another. We urge Representative Pallone to support any and all legislative paths to getting PFAS cleaned up and out of the environment.”

During the markup, the Committee adopted an amendment offered by Pallone that added 11 additional bills addressing PFAS to this legislation. Together, this comprehensive legislation offers communities the tools they need to combat the growing environmental problem.

“PFAS are persistent, toxic chemicals that last forever and spread through our water, air and soil,” said Congressman Frank Pallone. “The Energy and Commerce Committee took action to address the public health threat and growing problems associated with PFAS. This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation now includes 11 additional bills to protect Americans from PFAS and clean up waste sites. I commend all the Members who worked on this package of bills for their leadership. This legislation is critical to stopping the flow of these harmful chemicals into our environment, drinking water, cooking products and more. I look forward to the full House voting on this bill soon.”

The PFAS Action Act was favorably reported to the full House of Representatives by a vote of 31-19. According to a report, there are 517 water systems in New Jersey that are contaminated with PFAS.

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Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress. Clean Water Action has nearly 1 million members nationwide. www.cleanwater.org/nj

Amy Goldsmith
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