House approves bill to remove contaminants from drinking water

Pablo Tucker
January 12, 2020

These fluorine-based chemical compounds are commonly used for large scale industrial purposes, and in firefighting foams. Because they build up in our bodies and don't break down in the environment, they're called "forever chemicals".

According to the Environmental Working Group, PFAS chemicals have been found in drinking water in OH communities including Cleveland Heights and Struthers, and on military bases including Camp Ravenna and Wright Patterson Air Force Base. "Granite Staters deserve clean water, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to stop PFAS from getting into the environment and our drinking water".

While the Trump White House has rolled back a historic number of environmental regulations, including this week's proposal to gut the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this is one of many bills that the House has passed to proactively protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The bill is now going to the Senate. And, the administration says, it would ignore the established processes to ensure that appropriate, scientifically sound actions are taken to protect Americans.

Two dozen Republicans joined 222 Democrats in approving the bill, which would designate PFAS a hazardous chemical under the Superfund Act.

"Here's the reality. EPA has completely abandoned its responsibility to act". If testing reveals contamination, state officials will help local officials formulate a response.

But under pressure from industry, in 2006, EPA said the agency was "not aware of any studies specifically relating current levels of [the PFAS chemical] PFOA exposure to human health effects". She said more than 400 sites around the United States are affected by them, with many communities in MI experiencing contamination.

PFAS has now been confirmed in the water of more than 1,400 communities, including almost 300 military installations.

A statement in support of the bill from the National Wildlife Federation said PFAS have been found in all parts of the environment, from soil, water and air to fish and wildlife - from the Great Lakes to the Arctic.

"Congress and the administration need to be continually fighting for families so they can be confident that their drinking water is safe".

The bill addresses numerous same concerns that provisions in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, recently signed into law by President Trump. [Debbie] Dingell and [Fred] Upton, to address the this problem of PFAS chemicals contamination in a comprehensive and responsible way. "Granite Staters have already seen the harmful consequences of PFAS contamination, and I am pleased that the legislation we passed today will safeguard communities, clean up contaminated sites and protect public health", she said. "They will legally hamstring future ones from facing issues other than PFAS, whether it is lead or climate".

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