Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s Legislation to Protect Health of First Responders Passes Committee

Washington, November 21, 2019
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s (TX-07) legislation to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue guidance to protect the health of first responders when using foam containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to fight fires passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

PFAS are a group of chemicals used in a variety of industries, including in the foam used to put out chemical fires. PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes and can accumulate in the body for long periods of time.

“First responders put their lives in danger to protect us. We must protect our communities, our first responders, and our environment from these harmful chemicals used in fire-fighting foam,” said Congresswoman Fletcher. “I would like to thank Chairman Pallone and my colleagues in the committee for passing this important piece of legislation.”

Congresswoman Fletcher’s bill passed as part of a package of PFAS bills in H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019, which passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

During the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) plant fire in Deer Park, Texas in March, fire fighters used more than 130,000 gallons of foam to extinguish the flames. High levels of PFAS were found in the water of the Houston Ship Channel and lower levels were found farther downstream, according to the Galveston Bay Foundation.