Sarbanes Votes to Protect American Families and Communities from Toxic Chemicals

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass the PFAS Action Act (H.R. 535), a bill to help protect drinking water, air and soil from highly toxic and long-lasting per- and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals.

“While the Trump Administration focuses on advancing the interests of dirty polluters and wealthy chemical companies, it has repeatedly failed to tackle the dire health hazards posed by PFAS chemicals,” said Congressman Sarbanes, a prominent Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Reform Committee who has repeatedly criticized chemical companies and the Trump Administration for failing to address the dangerous health hazards of PFAS chemicals. “Today, the U.S. House of Representatives took real action – with bipartisan support – to protect American service members, families and communities from PFAS forever chemicals, which have contaminated our drinking water, air and soil, exposing millions of Americans to dangerous, cancer-causing compounds.”

Several military installations in Maryland – including Fort Meade and the United States Naval Academy – have been contaminated by PFAS chemicals. The PFAS Action Act will improve coordination between federal agencies and commit federal resources to help clean up PFAS-contaminated military installations in Maryland and across the country.

Key provisions of the PFAS Action Act include:

  • Reducing PFAS pollution in water, air and soil by requiring the cleanup of contaminated sites, setting air emission standards, prohibiting unsafe incineration of PFAS and limiting the introduction of new PFAS chemicals;
  • Identifying health risks by requiring comprehensive health testing for all PFAS chemicals, strengthening reporting requirements when PFAS gets released into the environment and regularly monitoring drinking water for PFAS contamination; and
  • Limiting human exposure to PFAS by requiring a drinking water standard for PFAS that protects public health, including the health of pregnant women, infants and children. The bill also provides grants to help clean up contaminated water systems, creates a voluntary label for cookware free of PFAS and provides information to first responders about how to limit PFAS exposure.