WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02), a member of the Congressional PFAS Task Force, voted to protect Wisconsin families from exposure to dangerous PFAS chemicals with H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act. This legislation seeks to address “forever chemicals,” which pose a direct threat to public health, and implement stronger protections against future pollution.
“In Madison, Wisconsin, PFAS chemicals have been discovered in every single one of our city wells. Fifty other cities across the state have also found the same chemicals in their water,” Congressman Mark Pocan said. “For far too long we have allowed these toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, infertility, and more to pollute our air, land, and water. That’s why I proudly voted for the PFAS Action Act, which will finally ban these toxic forever chemicals from our communities, introduce stricter protections against PFAS pollution, and hold polluters accountable.”
PFAS chemicals represent a serious public health risk to nearly all Americans. The CDC has reported that PFAS is present in nearly every American’s blood, exposing countless people to life-threatening illness and disease, including cancer, liver disease, asthma, thyroid dysfunction, infertility, and impaired child development.
A new study using EPA data shows that an estimated 30,000 industrial sites are known or suspected of using toxic PFAS: twelve times what had been previously estimated. 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.
By passing the PFAS Action Act, the House makes important progress toward cleaning up our communities and holding contaminating companies accountable for their pollution. This legislation designates the two most studied PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances immediately and sets a deadline for the EPA to make designation decisions about all other PFAS chemicals – which has been a key barrier to cleaning up industrial and military sites. The bill also creates new grants and partnerships to help states with clean-up and remediation efforts. To prevent future contamination, the bill introduces stricter limits on PFAS pollution and the introduction of new PFAS chemicals, as well tougher testing, reporting and monitoring requirements.
Video of Rep. Pocan addressing the need to pass the PFAS Action Act can be found here.