The House Energy and Commerce Committee considered a package of bills on November 20 addressing risks from the fluoridated “forever chemicals” known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The panel, chaired by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), will consider the PFAS Action Act, an amendment offered by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) that incorporates several bills passed out of the Environment Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). Among other things, the amendment would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set a national primary drinking water standard, regulate air emissions of PFAS, require polluters to report PFAS releases and kickstart the cleanup of contaminated sites.
Environmental Working Group legislative attorney Melanie Benesh praised the committee’s forthcoming action.
“We applaud the historic markup by Chairman Pallone and other members of the committee that will take place today,” said Benesh in a statement. “As many as 110 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with PFAS, which has been linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental problems and reduced effectiveness of vaccines. This package of bills represents a crucial first step in tackling the growing PFAS contamination crisis and finally offering some relief to communities polluted by toxic PFAS.”