Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Connect

Congressional PFAS Task Force, Led by Rep. Kildee, Outlines Priorities for Biden Administration

January 29, 2021
Press Release
Bipartisan Letter Expresses Need for Strong Executive, Legislative Action to Address PFAS Chemicals

FLINT—Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and co-chair of the Congressional PFAS Task Force, today sent a letter to the Biden administration outlining actions they should take to address harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals.

The letter, signed by 132 Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, includes actions the administration can take to protect communities from PFAS immediately, including creating a nationwide drinking water standard for PFAS in drinking water and listing PFAS as a hazardous substance to clean up the harmful chemicals and make the polluters pay, not taxpayers.

“According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 200 million Americans likely have drinking water and food contaminated with PFAS chemicals. Nevertheless, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Defense have been slow to address the risks posed by PFAS. There are currently no limits on PFAS releases and uses and no requirement to clean up PFAS contamination. To address the growing PFAS pollution crisis, we urge you to take immediate steps to reduce PFAS releases, phase out non-essential uses of PFAS in everyday products, and clean up legacy PFAS pollution,” the letter reads in part.

Congressman Kildee has worked with Republicans and Democrats at all levels of government to address PFAS chemical contamination. As the founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, Kildee has previously introduced legislation to set a national drinking water standard for PFAS, clean-up efforts and detect PFAS contamination at other sites across the country.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear President Biden:

We were pleased that you included action to protect communities from harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in your campaign platform. PFAS chemicals are prevalent in communities across the country and pose serious health problems for millions of Americans, including thyroid, kidney, liver, heart and reproductive problems. As the world awaits a widely-available COVID-19 vaccine, studies have shown that PFAS chemicals could also have adverse effects that make the vaccine less effective.

Since its inception, the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force has been working on bipartisan solutions to protect communities from harmful PFAS chemicals. We look forward to working with the Biden administration on policies to continue this work. Below are some specific areas of focus that we would like to work with you.

According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 200 million Americans likely have drinking water and food contaminated with PFAS chemicals. Nevertheless, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Defense (DOD) have been slow to address the risks posed by PFAS. There are currently no limits on PFAS releases and uses and no requirement to clean up PFAS contamination. 

To address the growing PFAS pollution crisis, we urge you to take immediate steps to reduce PFAS releases, phase out non-essential uses of PFAS in everyday products, and clean up legacy PFAS pollution. We urge your administration to: 

  • Direct the EPA to quickly finalize a national drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS. 
  • Direct EPA to quickly restrict industrial releases of PFAS into the air and water by using the tools provided by the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act and to expand reporting of these releases through the Toxic Release Inventory. 
  • Direct the EPA to immediately designate two types of PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, as “hazardous substances” under CERCLA and to revise groundwater clean-up standards.
  • Hold regular meetings with members of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force to share information and receive updates on your administration’s PFAS-related work. We would welcome agency participation from EPA, FDA and DOD.
  • Direct FDA and EPA to phase out non-essential use of PFAS in food packaging, cosmetics, sunscreens and other household projects, and direct EPA to amend the Significant New Use Rule to address all imports. 
  • Direct the DOD to accelerate efforts to end the use of fire-fighting foam made with PFAS, to impose a moratorium on the incineration of legacy foam and accelerate PFAS clean-up at DOD and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) installations. 
  • Direct the EPA to immediately place a moratorium on the introduction of new PFAS chemicals and to use all of use tools provided by the Toxic Substances Control Act to assess the risks posed by PFAS. 
  • Direct the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to support efforts to clean up PFAS pollution near fire training centers. 
  • Direct the DOD to test for PFAS in the blood of all service members and direct the EPA to test and report on the presence of PFAS biosolids. 

These actions would help protect our communities, and especially our brave men and women in our armed services and firefighters, from these harmful chemicals. We look forward to working with you in Congress on these critical issues. 

Sincerely,

Representative Daniel T. Kildee (MI-05), Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Representative David Scott (GA-13), Representative Robert C. “Bobby Scott (VA-03), Representative Joe Neguse (CO-02), Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Representative Betty McCollum (MN-04), Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Representative David Price (NC-04), Representative Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Representative Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Representative Cori Bush (MO-01), Representative Mike Doyle (PA-18), Representative Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Representative Jason Crow (CO-06), Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Representative Seth Moulton (MA-06), Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At Large), Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Representative Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Representative Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Representative Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Representative Deborah K. Ross (NC-02), Representative Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Representative Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Representative Sean Casten (IL-06), Representative Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Representative David Rouzer (NC-07), Representative Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03), Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Representative Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38)Representative Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Representative Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Representative Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Representative John P. Sarbanes (MD-03), Representative Brian Higgins (NY-26), Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09), Representative Joseph D. Morelle (NY-25), Representative Bill Foster (IL-11), Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Representative Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Representative David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Representative Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Representative Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D (NY-16), Representative John Yarmuth (KY-03), Representative Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02), Representative Abigail D. Spanberger (VA-07), Representative Grace Meng (NY-06), Representative Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17), Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Representative Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Representative Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Representative Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04), Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Representative André Carson (IN-07), Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Representative Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Representative Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Representative John B. Larson (CT-01), Representative Judy Chu (CA-27), Representative Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Representative Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Representative Richard Neal (MA-01), Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02), Representative A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Representative Bill Keating (MA-09), Representative Andy Kim (NJ-03), Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Representative Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Representative Tim Ryan (OH-13), Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Representative Bill Posey (FL-08), Representative Albio Sires (NJ-08), Representative Elaine G. Luria (VA-02), Representative Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02), Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Representative Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Representative Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Representative Lori Trahan (MA-03), Representative Paul Tonko (NY-20), Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51), Representative Haley M. Stevens (MI-11), Representative Peter Meijer (MI-03), Representative Andy Levin (MI-09), Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Representative Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Representative James P. McGovern (MA-02), Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Representative Ron Kind (WI-03), Representative Chris Pappas (NH-01), Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Representative Julia Brownley (CA-26), Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II  (MO-05), Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Representative Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Representative Jackie Speier (CA-14), Representative Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Representative Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Representative Donald M. Payne, Jr.  (NJ-10), Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Representative Al Lawson (FL-05), Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13), Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17), Representative Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Representative Terri Sewell (AL-07), Representative Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Representative Marc Veasey (TX-33), Representative Fred Upton (MI-06), Representative Mike Thompson (CA-05), Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14), Representative Doris Matsui (CA-06), Representative Diana DeGette (CO-01), Representative Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Representative Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Representative Don Young (AK-At Large), Representative Bill Huizenga (MI-02)