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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Introduces Legislation To Improve Communication About Potential Hazards of PFAS

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) introduced the PFAS Risk-Communication Strategy Act to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a risk-communication strategy to inform the American people about the potential hazards of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  The PFAS Risk-Communication Strategy Act was included in a larger bipartisan package of bills, the PFAS Action Act, which was introduced today by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), and Congressman Pat Ryan (NY-18).

“It is critical that people understand the threat PFAS chemicals pose to our communities,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “Understanding the hazards can help us determine how to reduce those risks and protect our communities and environment.  I am grateful to my colleagues Representatives Debbie Dingell, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Pat Ryan, for including this legislation in the PFAS Action Act, and to Ranking Member Frank Pallone, for his leadership on this important matter.  I look forward to working together to protect our communities from harmful PFAS contamination.”

PFAS are a large, diverse group of long-lasting, durable, water-and-oil-resistant, and heat-resistant chemical compounds used in a wide variety of common applications and consumer products across industries.  Known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS can be found in non-stick cookware, water-resistant fabrics, cleaning products, cosmetics, plastic water bottles, food packaging, and more.  Although PFAS has been in use for more than 80 years, the full extent of health and environmental implications are not yet fully known.

If enacted, the PFAS Risk-Communication Strategy Act would require the EPA to:

·         disseminate information about the risk of PFAS in products, land, air, and water;

·         notify the public about exposure pathways and mitigation measures though outreach and educational resources; and

·         consult with states that have demonstrated effective risk-communication strategies for best practices in developing a national risk-communication strategy.

Last Congress, Congresswoman Fletcher introduced the bipartisan Federal PFAS Research Evaluation Act, H.R. 7289, to implement a federal study to uncover the health hazards PFAS exposure presents to communities.  The bill passed the House of Representatives, but the Senate failed to take up the legislation.

Additionally, Congresswoman Fletcher previously introduced a bill to direct the EPA to issue guidance on minimizing the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS, H.R. 4381, after a report showed hazardous chemical substances remained in the Houston Ship Channel for months after a fire broke out.  The bill also passed the House, but the Senate failed to take up the legislation.

To view the full text of this bill, click here.