Congressman Brendan Boyle Introduces Legislation to Require Enforceable Nationwide Standard for Perfluorinated Compounds in Drinking Water
Washington, DC– Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-13) recently introduced legislation (H.R. 6125) that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set an enforceable, nationwide primary drinking water standard for PFCs (including PFOA & PFOS). Currently, the EPA sets voluntary advisory guidelines. Congressman Boyle feels the current approach is too weak considering the growing science on the risks these chemicals present to our drinking water and the national scope of the problem.
“It is past time we address these contaminants with the seriousness they merit,” said Congressman Boyle. “Whether it’s PFCs in Horsham, Pennsylvania or lead in Flint, Michigan, when it comes to the safety of our drinking water, it’s time to get serious.”
Congressman Boyle’s bill is part of a larger package of safe drinking water legislation supported by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6), the lead Democrat on the powerful committee of jurisdiction, the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The package would modernize the Safe Drinking Water Act, fill funding voids and address modern threats to drinking water systems large and small across the country.
“The crisis in Flint has highlighted the need for action, but water systems nationwide are in dire need of dramatic improvements,” Pallone, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement. “This comprehensive legislation provides the tools and resources that state and local governments need to ensure the public is provided with clean, safe drinking water."
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. Neighboring Congressmen Meehan (PA-7) and Fitzpatrick (PA-8) are original cosponsors of the bill. The three congressmen have tirelessly worked together to address these issues in a bipartisan fashion since becoming aware of the community’s health concerns.
Also this week, Congressman Boyle is fighting to add an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act, ( H.R. 5303 ), to require the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to conduct a study on the long term health effects of exposure to PFCs through water contamination around military installations like Willow Grove. He is pushing House leadership to allow a vote on the amendment on the House floor before final passage of H.R. 5303.