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Boyle & Bipartisan House Leaders Introduce Legislation to Require Enforceable Nationwide Standard for PFAS Contaminants in Drinking Water

April 29, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) today introduced bipartisan legislation, the Protect Drinking Water from PFAS Act of 2019, H.R. 2377, to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set an enforceable, nationwide primary drinking water standard for PFAS contaminants, including PFOS and PFOA which have plagued the Philadelphia region.  Currently, the EPA sets voluntary advisory guidelines, and postponed a long-anticipated determination of whether to set an enforceable standard.  Boyle was joined by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (NJ-06) and Subcommittee on Environment Chairman Paul Tonko (NY-21) who head the powerful House committees of jurisdiction, as well as PFAS Task Force Co-chairs Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01).  Boyle and Fitzpatrick first introduced such legislation in 2016.  The five Members of Congress have been fighting for an enforceable drinking water standard since 2017.

“It is past time we address these contaminants with the seriousness they merit,” said Congressman Boyle.  “Public health is at stake while the EPA continues to dither and delay setting enforceable limits on these chemicals.  This is unacceptable.  The more we look, the more contamination we find.  The more we wait, the more we learn about the seriousness of these contaminants.  No American should question the safety of their drinking water – period.  We must address these contaminants with the full force of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

“PFAS contamination is one of the greatest public health crises of our time. This bill directs EPA to at long last take that crisis seriously, and set a strong, binding nationwide drinking water standard,” said Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “I’m proud to co-sponsor this important legislation, and I thank Congressman Boyle for his leadership and hard work in getting this done. Americans deserve to know their drinking water is safe.” 

“President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is entrusted with keeping our drinking water safe, but has delayed protecting our families from toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water. This is unacceptable. We know that PFAS chemicals are harmful to human health and families deserve safe water from their taps,” said Congressman Kildee. “I am proud to stand with my colleagues today to protect drinking water in Michigan and at the thousands of sites across the country impacted by PFAS.”

“PFAS chemical contamination is a public health crisis and the EPA must act with an urgency that matches the scale of the problem,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “If the EPA won’t act, then Congress must take action to protect American communities from these dangerous chemicals. Since we’ve first became aware of this contamination, my constituents have been forced to take drastic action, at personal expense, to reduce their exposure to PFOS and PFOA. Establishing a Maximum Contaminant level will force those responsible for this crisis to clean up toxic sites and ensure drinking water isn’t contaminated with PFAS chemicals.”

Congressman Boyle’s legislation is the product of discussions with federal officials in direct response to the ongoing water contamination issues experienced by communities surrounding the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, and Horsham Air Guard Station in Pennsylvania.  The Energy and Commerce Committee plans to consider this and other related legislation to address FPAS contamination in the coming month.