Federal lawmakers speak up for communities polluted with PFAS
In letters sent Tuesday to the Environmental Protection Agency, federal lawmakers spoke up for communities across the country affected by PFAS contamination.
PFAS are a class of thousands of man-made chemicals that have been linked to various cancers and other negative health effects. Nicknamed “forever chemicals,” they persist across the country in our water, soil, air, and bodies. The Southern Environmental Law Center has been working with communities to hold industries accountable for their pollution and to stop PFAS pollution at the source.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand led a group of 14 Senators in urging EPA to issue strong guidance on toxic PFAS this winter. Representatives Chris Pappas and Brian Fitzpatrick led a bipartisan companion letter alongside 49 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
By sending letters to EPA, these members of Congress recognized the importance of this upcoming guidance and took action to urge the agency to protect communities nationwide, hold polluters accountable, and not neglect existing authority to stop PFAS pollution.Geoff Gisler, Leader of SELC’s Clean Water Program
The letters push EPA to use its full authority under the Clean Water Act to promptly protect communities from PFAS exposure. SELC welcomes Congressional efforts to help ensure EPA’s guidance is as strong as possible and affords communities meaningful protection in the near-term.
“The Clean Water Act permitting guidance that EPA will release to states this winter is the single most important action the agency will take to address the nation’s PFAS crisis,” says Senior Attorney Geoff Gisler, leader of SELC’s Clean Water Program.
Our work is shaping federal policy on forever chemicals.
He continues, “By sending letters to EPA, these members of Congress recognized the importance of this upcoming guidance and took action to urge the agency to protect communities nationwide, hold polluters accountable, and not neglect existing authority to stop PFAS pollution.”
In addition to Senator Gillibrand, the letter to EPA was signed by Senators Dick Durbin (IL), Cory Booker (NJ), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Chris Van Hollen (MD), Patrick Leahy (VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Jeff Merkley (OR), Ed Markey (MA), Ron Wyden (OR), Alex Padilla (CA), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Dianne Feinstein (CA).
Congressmen Pappas and Fitzpatrick were joined by Representatives Alma Adams (NC), Karen Bass (CA), Tony Cárdenas (CA), Sean Casten (IL), Judy Chu (CA), Steve Cohen (TN), Gerald Connolly (VA), Madeleine Dean (PA), Diana DeGette (CO), Debbie Dingell (MI), Adriano Espaillat (NY), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Jared Huffman (CA), Hank Johnson (GA), Ro Khanna (CA), Dan Kildee (MI), Ann Kuster (NH), Brenda Lawrence (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), Ted Lieu (CA), Alan Lowenthal (CA), Elaine Luria (VA), Stephen Lynch (MA), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Doria Matsui (CA), Donald McEachin (VA), James McGovern (MA), Jerry McNerney (CA), Richard Neal (MA), Eleanor Norton (DC), Tom O’Halleran (AZ), Mark Pocan (WI), Bill Posey (FL), Mike Quigley (IL), Jaime Raskin (MD), Deborah Ross (NC), Bobby Scott (VA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Darren Soto (FL), Haley Stevens (MI), Dina Titus (NV), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Lori Trahan (MA), David Trone (MD), Juan Vargas (CA), Peter Welch (VT), and Susan Wild (PA).