Congresswoman Annie Kuster Urges Congress to Address PFAS Proliferation in National Defense Authorization Act of 2019
Watch Congresswoman Kuster speak on the House floor here.
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), Bipartisan PFAS Task Force member, spoke on the House floor today to urge Congress to address PFAS proliferation in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (NDAA).
“The proliferation of toxic PFAS chemicals throughout our environment is a risk to human health,” said Kuster. “As Congress continues to act on this issue, we must listen to families and citizens who have to live with this contamination. Americans have waited long enough - it is critical that the final National Defense Authorization Act includes PFAS provisions from House and Senate-passed bills.”
In May, Congresswoman Kuster and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) introduced the Protecting Communities from new PFAS Act to prevent new PFAS chemicals from being approved through the Environmental Protection Agency’s pre-manufacture notice system to close the door on new PFAS chemicals from entering public and commercial markets. Last year, Kuster requested and secured increased funding for the study of PFAS as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018.
Watch Rep. Kuster speak on the House floor about the NDAA here or read her full remarks below:
Thank you, Madame/Mr. Chair. Across the United States and in my district, we are seeing more and more communities threatened by PFAS contamination.
The proliferation of toxic PFAS chemicals throughout our environment is a risk to human health, and as Congress continues to act on this issue we must listen to families and citizens who have had to live with contamination.
I cannot imagine the fear of a parent who has learned that their children’s drinking water is contaminated with these harmful chemicals.
That’s why earlier this year, I introduced legislation that would prohibit companies from adjusting PFAS chemicals at the molecular level to bypass environmental protections at the EPA.
Turning off the tap for approving new PFAS chemicals is one step that Congress can take as we work to fully understand how expansive PFAS contamination is to our environment and human health.
Congress must act on this issue, which is why last month I convened a PFAS summit with my friend Chris Pappas to hear from environmental advocates, impacted families and community leaders in New Hampshire who are on the front lines of cleaning up PFAS contamination.
We also heard from experts who are working on long-term solutions to cleaning up these forever chemicals, and I am pleased to bring some of these ideas back to Washington, D.C. as a Member of the Bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force.
This group has brought together Democrats and Republicans from across the country to put the issue of PFAS contamination front and center in Washington, D.C.
The PFAS Task Force has already been effective in advancing important provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act to help clean up contaminated sites and protect service members and first responders who have been exposed.
As House and Senate leaders begin conferencing this bill, it is critical that the final National Defense Authorization Act includes PFAS provisions from the House and Senate-passed bills. Americans have waited long enough.
Congress has an important opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation that will protect veterans, current servicemembers, and firefighters occupationally exposed to PFAS, as well as families in communities impacted by military and industrial PFAS contamination.
This issue is critical to my district and I will continue to work across the aisle with anybody that’s willing to protect communities and future generations from PFAS contamination.
Thank you and I yield back.