Reps. Tom O’Halleran, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Raul Grijalva voted to pass the PFAS Action Act to clean up “forever chemicals” that pose a direct threat to clean drinking water in communities across America. PFAS exposure has been linked to certain types of cancer and medical conditions. A recent study showed an estimated 30,000 industrial sites are known or suspected of using toxic PFAS. American servicemembers and their families are also at particular risk of exposure, as more than 400 U.S. military sites are known to have PFAS contamination.
The Act aims to address the prevalence of PFAS chemicals in water sources across the country, ensure proper cleanup of contaminated sites, and limit the introduction of new PFAS sources into new commercial products. The bill would require the EPA to set a PFAS drinking water standard to protect public health, require new testing and reporting regimens, and require cleanup of impacted areas.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 241-182 in favor of legislation that would regulate PFAS. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate.
O’Halleran stated on Twitter, “Tucson has been fighting for years to clean up PFAS & other harmful chemicals in their drinking water. I voted to pass the PFAS Action Act to provide financial support for #AZ01 PFAS cleanup projects & ensure proper oversight of those chemicals.”
Rep. Grijalva released a statement, saying “Today’s legislation is a positive step toward addressing PFAS contaminants in drinking water, limiting exposure to PFAS chemicals, and spurring the cleanup of impacted communities. Everyone should feel confident that the water they use in their homes is free from dangerous contaminants, and this legislation will finally push the EPA to put a standard on the books to protect the public health of our communities. Communities like Tucson have spent millions cleaning up PFAS contaminants, and I’m pleased this legislation includes provisions I supported to reimburse them for their efforts.”
Rep. Kirkpatrick stated in a press release, “My office has been working incredibly closely with the City of Tucson to raise this issue in Congress, and we are aggressively advocating for additional federal support. Earlier this year, my PFAS working group sent a letter to the Biden Administration outlining recommendations to direct the EPA to quickly finalize national drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS.”
“There is nothing more important than my sworn duty to keep Arizonans safe,” continued Rep. Kirkpatrick. “Our children and families deserve safe water to drink, air to breathe, and food to eat, and the brave troops who put their lives on the line for our nation deserve to live safely here at home. As Democrats in Congress work to Build Back Better from this crisis, this landmark bill is a critical step toward ensuring every community can enjoy a cleaner, safer future.”