Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) applauded House passage of the PFAS Action Act of 2019, which passed the full House of Representatives by a vote of 247-159. Pallone spearheaded passage of the bill that regulates PFAS chemicals, cleans up contamination, and protects public health. According to a report, there are 517 water systems in New Jersey that are contaminated with PFAS.
“New Jersey has some of the highest levels of PFAS contamination in the country. While the state is doing everything it can to address this public health threat by adopting protective state drinking water standards and pursuing natural resource damage cases, it, like so many other states, is facing strong opposition from federal agencies under the Trump Administration. That is why, today, we took decisive federal action to protect the communities we represent from the rising tide of PFAS contamination,” Congressman Pallone said.
“These toxic ‘forever chemicals’ present an urgent threat to Americans’ health – and due to EPA inaction, PFAS contamination has spread throughout our environment. While the Trump Administration appears comfortable dragging its feet, I am not,” Pallone continued. “I strongly urge the Senate to consider this legislation immediately so we can deliver concrete solutions to this pressing public health crisis.”
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.
Pallone spoke on the House Floor about the importance of the legislation. Video of his remarks are available here.