At Energy & Commerce Hearing, Kuster Expresses Concern Over EPA’s Response to PFAS Contamination, Highlights Contamination in Litchfield, NH
Washington, DC, February 26, 2019
**Kuster’s Q&A can be viewed HERE**
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, questioned Susan Bodine, the Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) about the EPA’s PFAS action plan to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water. Kuster expressed her disappointment with the action plan and weakening enforcement of federal environmental regulations and laws regarding pollution. Kuster highlighted the contamination of drinking water in private groundwater wells in Litchfield, NH with perfluorooctanoic acid in the area around the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic plant in Merrimack.
“In New Hampshire, we’ve seen the damaging consequences of groundwater pollution, and I’m deeply concerned that the EPA’s failure to hold polluters and bad actors responsible will send a message to others that they can disregard environmental regulations,” said Kuster. “EPA’s enforcement penalties last year declined to their lowest level since 1994. This sends a message that our laws and the safety of our communities are not a priority. This is an unacceptable, dangerous precedent to set, and I will continue my efforts to pursue policies that protect communities in New Hampshire and across the country.”
Kuster has been vocal about the need to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and other water contaminants in New Hampshire. 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. She has also called on the Trump Administration to immediately release a toxicology report about widespread water contamination from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).