Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Leads Bipartisan Legislation to Implement National PFAS Study
Washington, July 14, 2020 | Rocio Cruz
(Houston, TX) – Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) announced she is leading bipartisan legislation to implement a federal PFAS study to uncover levels of exposure to PFAS and the health hazards that exposure presents. This legislation requires federal agencies with PFAS expertise to work with the National Academies of Science to conduct a two-phase study on PFAS exposure and toxicity and to develop a federal research and development plan to address PFAS.
“We know that PFAS chemicals are dangerous for humans who have been exposed to them, and we know they are dangerous for our environment. We still don’t know, however, just how persistent they are in our communities and have only yet begun to understand the health implications,” said Congresswoman Fletcher. “That’s why I am glad to lead legislation to advance PFAS research to uncover the effects of these chemicals and help us reduce the risks they pose. I thank my colleagues, Congresswoman Slotkin and Congressman Posey, for working with me to help keep our communities safe.”
“Given the homeland security threat that PFAS poses to our safety and way of life in Michigan, we should be learning everything we possibly can about the health risks it poses to our communities,” Congresswoman Slotkin said. “This bipartisan bill puts the research capabilities of the National Academies of Science to work answering some fundamental questions about PFAS, and will be an important tool in the toolkit when it comes to fighting PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the country.”
“This legislation will lead to a better understanding of the long-term health and environmental impacts of PFAS exposure which is critical in developing cleanup and remediation strategies,” said Congressman Posey. “I thank Congresswoman Fletcher and Congresswoman Slotkin for working together to advance this important public health issue.”
PFAS (per- and polyfuluroalkyl substances) are a group of chemicals used in a variety of industries. They can accumulate in the body for long periods of time and have been linked to adverse health outcomes. Congresswoman Fletcher’s legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08) and Bill Posey (R-FL-08). The full text of the bill is available here.
Earlier this year, Congresswoman Fletcher’s legislation to protect first responders and the environment from PFAS passed the House as a part of H.R. 535, the bipartisan PFAS Action Act. Her bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency to issue guidance on minimizing the use of PFAS in firefighting foams. You can watch the Congresswoman’s floor speech on the bill here.
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.