Kuster Bill to Block New PFAS Chemicals Passes Energy and Commerce Committee
Watch Rep. Kuster speaking in support of her PFAS legislation HERE.
Watch Rep. Kuster speaking in support of the SAFER Pipelines Act HERE.
Washington, DC – Last night, Rep. Annie Kuster’s (NH-02) legislation, the Protecting Communities from New PFAS Act, passed in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This legislation would prevent new PFAS chemicals from being approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and help to ensure Granite Staters have access to clean water. The bill would close the door on new PFAS chemicals from entering the public and commercial markets. In September, Kuster spoke on the House floor to call on Congress to address PFAS proliferation in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (NDAA).
“The wellbeing of Granite Staters and families nationwide is at risk due to the proliferation of PFAS chemicals,” said Kuster, member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Bipartisan PFAS Task Force. “We need to turn off the tap of these forever chemicals that pose a significant danger to the health of American families. This legislation is an important step towards reducing the number of PFAS chemicals entering our environment and ensuring people in New Hampshire and across the country have access to clean, safe drinking water.”
“I’m pleased the committee also passed legislation that will help protect communities from gas explosions like the September 2018 Merrimack Valley tragedy just across our border,” said Kuster. “This comprehensive bill advances numerous pipeline safety measures and reinstitutes important gas leak prevention provisions that will improve air quality and public health.”
The Committee also advanced the SAFER Pipelines Act and the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, both of which were backed by Kuster in committee. The SAFER Pipelines Act would reauthorize the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through 2023 and would require natural gas pipeline operators to install automatic or remote-controlled shutoff valves to prevent explosions in high-risk areas. The bill also includes provisions to reduce gas leaks and pollution that are harmful to public health. The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act would amend the Public Health Service Act to help ensure that pregnant women and new mothers can access the care they need to stay healthy and raise happy families.
Kuster joined the Energy and Commerce Committee in January, where she has had an opportunity to lead the effort to pass legislation to improve health care, lower prescription drug prices, and address PFAS contamination. In August, she joined with Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) to convene Granite Staters whose communities have been affected by PFAS exposure and heard from experts on how to best move forward in addressing the proliferation of these chemicals in New Hampshire. Kuster questioned Susan Bodine, the Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) about the EPA’s PFAS action plan and expressed her concern about the EPA’s response to this crisis. She has joined with the New Hampshire delegation to call for more research into the connection between pediatric cancer and PFAS exposure. Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) increased funding for the study of PFAS as requested by Kuster.