Kuster, Pappas introduce PFAS bill
WASHINGTON – Chemicals from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics caused problems for the Merrimack water supply, so New Hampshire officials hope new legislation will help limit their future output.
The materials are known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that these chemicals are linked to health problems such as cancer, low infant birth weights, immune system problems and thyroid hormone disruption.
U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, D-N.H., introduced the Protecting Communities from New PFAS Act. This legislation would prevent new PFAS chemicals from being approved through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s pre-manufacture notice system.
Since 2002, there have been more than 100 new PFAS chemicals reported to the EPA, and chemical companies are creating replacement, or short-chained, PFAS chemicals that still show environmental and health toxicity concerns. This bill seeks to shut the door on new PFAS chemicals entering the public and commercial markets.
“PFAS chemicals pose a serious threat to people in New Hampshire and across the country,” Kuster said. “We must prevent the proliferation of these PFAS chemicals that find their way into our air and drinking water. Our legislation would put a stop to companies adjusting PFAS chemicals on a molecular level to bypass environmental protections. I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect families and communities across New Hampshire and fight to ensure everyone can access clean, safe drinking water.”
“Short-sighted EPA regulations have allowed chemical companies to utilize unstudied forms of PFAS which put the health and well-being of New Hampshire families at risk,” Pappas added. “I am proud to work with Congresswoman Kuster to introduce legislation that turns off the spigot of PFAS chemicals as we work to fully understand how expansive the impacts of PFAS are on humans and the environment. I will continue fighting to hold polluters and the EPA accountable while ensuring the necessary federal regulations are put in place to keep our communities safe.”
The substances have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the U.S. since the 1940s. They are often found in food packaging, polishes, waxes, paints and foam used to fight fires.