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Pallone Introduces Bill to Eliminate PFAS from Americans’ Drinking Water

May 8, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, announced the introduction of H.R. 2533, the Providing Financial Assistance for Safe Drinking Water Act (“PFAS Drinking Water Act”) today. The new legislation delivers sweeping investments for water infrastructure, creating a grant program to upgrade the country’s drinking water systems with treatment technology that can remove perfluorinated compounds (PFAS). The funding will allow affected communities across the country to effectively and affordably filter the dangerous chemicals – and other hazardous pollutants – out of their drinking water.

PFAS are a class of industrial chemicals most commonly used in the production of products such as Teflon and Scotchguard, and used for decades by the Department of Defense in firefighting exercises. The toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer, immune system effects, liver failure and birth defects, and pose increasingly serious public health risks to communities throughout the country as their presence in drinking water has become more prevalent.

“The Trump EPA’s failure to regulate the manufacture, use and disposal of PFAS chemicals has put countless Americans’ health at risk, and left drinking water systems struggling to provide safe water. It is time for Congress to act,” said Pallone. “This bill will ensure communities across the country have the resources they need to eliminate the toxic chemicals from their water. Americans deserve to know their drinking water is safe.”

The bill would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to require the EPA Administrator to establish, within 180 days of enactment, a program to award grants to PFAS-affected water systems to pay the capital costs associated with eligible treatment technologies. The legislation further directs the EPA Administrator to create a list of eligible treatment technologies, defined as those which can remove all detectable amounts of PFAS from drinking water.

Bill text is available here.