Kuster Questions Former EPA Officials and Environmental Experts, Urges Immediate Action on PFAS Chemicals
Washington, March 10, 2021
Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, participated in a Subcommittee hearing entitled, "The Path Forward: Restoring the Vital Mission of EPA." The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee heard from former EPA officials and environmental experts about the changing roles of the Environmental Protection Agency and the need for restored leadership to protect our environment.
“One area where we know the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must take immediate action is addressing PFAS contamination in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Rep. Kuster. “In the Granite State, nearly half of our population gets their water from private wells, which are vulnerable to PFAS chemical emissions that can seep into the ground, putting families at serious risk for exposure to these toxic forever chemicals. Some residents have had to rely on bottled water for drinking and cooking for years and must shower and bathe in water they know contains PFAS. We can and we must do more to protect our citizens and ensure everyone has access to safe, clean water.”
“I cannot stress enough how important and urgent PFAS regulations are for millions of American families,” Rep. Kuster continued. “Last year, the House passed the PFAS Action Act, which included my bill that would turn off the tap on PFAS by preventing any of these new toxic chemicals from being approved by the EPA. For years, I’ve also pushed the EPA to use its authority to protect families while also holding contaminators accountable. I was pleased to see that under the Biden administration, the EPA has issued new rules that put us on track to enact nationwide PFAS drinking water regulations. It is imperative that we re-establish bold leadership at the EPA to clean up PFAS and other forever chemicals to safeguard the American people from further contamination with every tool we have, as quickly as we can.”
Witnesses at today’s Subcommittee hearing included:
Hon. Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator (2001-2003), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Hon. Carol Browner
Administrator (1993-2001), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming
Former Chief of Staff and Region 4 Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Former Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
John Deskins, Ph.D.
Director, Bureau of Business & Economic Research, West Virginia University
Kuster has been a vocal advocate for federal action on PFAS and forever chemicals. In December, she led a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of robust funding to protect communities from harmful PFAS chemicals. Rep. Kuster helped introduce the PFAS Action Act of 2019, which passed the House in the 116th Congress, and included Kuster’s Protecting Communities from New PFAS Act, which she introduced last May. Kuster’s bill would prevent new PFAS chemicals from being approved through the EPA’s premanufacture notice system.