Trahan, House Pass Comprehensive PFAS Legislation
Washington, July 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, voted on the House floor to pass H.R. 2467, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation she helped introduce and pass out of Committee to clean up PFAS contaminations, help families who have been exposed to the dangerous “forever chemicals,” and prevent future exposures.
During debate on the House floor, Trahan spoke in support the legislation:
Congresswoman Lori Trahan
Remarks as Delivered
Full Consideration of the PFAS Action Act
July 21, 2021
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the PFAS Action Act of 2021 because this overdue legislation will save lives. We know that PFAS chemicals – otherwise known as forever chemicals – have been linked to harmful health effects, including increased rates of cancer. Yet, for far too long, they’ve been unchecked and unregulated.
Now, these same chemicals are being discovered at toxic levels in drinking water supplies in communities that I represent and across our country. In fact, as many as 200 million Americans are currently drinking PFAS-contaminated water – often without even knowing it.
While my home state of Massachusetts has led the way in responding to PFAS contaminations in recent years – including the groundbreaking of a new 10 thousand square foot treatment plant in my district in Littleton – most states are falling further and further behind, leaving their residents at risk.
Madam Speaker, we have the ability to change that today. Passage of the PFAS Action Act will bolster state and local initiatives like those already underway in Massachusetts. This legislation will provide the resources and policies necessary to clean up contaminated drinking water sites, support families who have been exposed to PFAS chemicals, and take critical steps to prevent future exposures.
I’m grateful to Representatives Dingell and Upton – as well as our Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Pallone – for their bipartisan work on this issue. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation – not because it will hurt corporations who want to continue the unregulated use of these dangerous chemicals, but because the health and wellbeing of the hardworking families they represent are at stake if they don’t.
Thank you, I yield back.
PFAS chemicals are manmade and have been used in common products such as firefighting foam, non-stick cookware, water resistant clothing, cleaning products, paints and sealants, personal care products, and cosmetics since the 1940s. Despite being linked to harmful health effects, these forever chemicals have been discovered in the drinking water of more than 2,000 communities nationwide, including in 50 public water sources reported in Massachusetts this year alone.
In the Third District, communities that have been impacted by PFAS contaminations include Acton, Ayer, Chelmsford, Hudson, Littleton, and Sudbury. Last month, Trahan’s office joined with Littleton officials to break ground on a new 10,500-square-foot water treatment plant to filter PFAS chemicals from contaminated wells. The project, which will be financed through the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, also received a $200,000 EPA grant to support engineering and design costs.
To support projects like the one in Littleton and protect communities from PFAS chemicals, the PFAS Action Act will:
The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of H.R. 2467: “The Administration supports passage of H.R. 2467, the PFAS Action Act. Aggressive efforts to analyze the impact of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) on human health and the environment are necessary to meet the challenges associated with developing regulations to reduce exposure to these substances and improve public health…H.R. 2467 supports many of the scientific and regulatory actions that are already underway and demonstrates the commitment across the branches of government to take on this challenge. We support the intent of the PFAS Action Act to address PFAS across media. The Administration, led by the Environmental Protection Agency, is working to collaborate on cross-cutting strategies; advance new science; develop coordinated policies, regulations and communications; and continue engagement with affected states, Tribes, communities and stakeholders, and H.R. 2467 would further enhance these efforts.”
Trahan supported passage of similar legislation in the House during the 116th, but the Republican-controlled Senate did not take up the bill. H.R. 2467 now moves to the Senate for consideration.