Boyle and Fitzpatrick Lead Bipartisan Demand To Release PFOS, PFOA Health Study
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA) and Brian K. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) led a bipartisan letter demanding the release of a study on the human health effects of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that was recently suppressed by EPA staff out of concern for negative public relations. The letter also demands an explanation for the study’s suppression.
The study, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reportedly concluded that PFOS and PFOA can cause human harm at a much lower level of exposure than previously acknowledged by EPA. These chemicals have threatened the drinking water of some 70,000 residents in Bucks and Montgomery Counties surrounding Willow Grove and Horsham Air Guard Station due to the use of “AFFF” firefighting foam on site.
“Americans have a right to safe drinking water. For years we have been fighting to bring the full force of the federal government to bear on this issue, and to provide impacted communities with the information and resources they deserve. It is beyond unacceptable to see P.R. and political considerations get in the way,” said Congressman Boyle. “EPA must assume its role to protect public health and the environment, no matter how politically sensitive the subject. Impacted communities should feel confident relying upon taxpayer-funded research for public health guidance, and EPA staff should understand their primary responsibility is to further public health and safety.”
“My constituents have a right to clean, safe drinking water and they deserve to know if exposure to PFOS and PFOA has compromised their long-term health,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I am troubled to hear that exposure to these chemicals could be even more dangerous for our sensitive populations than previously thought. It would be unacceptable if the political considerations of those at the highest levels of the EPA led to the suppression of information concerning the public health of Americans. The EPA must provide my constituents with answers to these reports immediately.”
The letter was signed by the following Members of Congress: Boyle, Fitzpatrick, King, Welch, Tonko, Shea-Porter, Neal, Kildee, Maloney, Keating, Lieu, DeGette, McMorris Rodgers, Heck.
Ameliorating PFOS and PFOA drinking water contamination has been a top priority for Congressman Boyle throughout his tenure in Congress. Boyle led the fight to increase Department of Defense funding for PFOS and PFOA remediation, fully fund the ATSDR, and require and fully fund a health effects study. Boyle is also the lead sponsor of bipartisan legislation, H.R. 3106, to require the EPA to set an enforceable, nationwide primary drinking water standard for PFCs including PFOS and PFOA. EPA is currently considering this course of action under the Safe Drinking Water Act, with a preliminary decision anticipated next year.