Combating PFAS contamination

Sep 9, 2019

To help address the health risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), I joined 161 bipartisan Members on a letter asking National Defense Authorization Act conferees to retain provisions that address PFAS contamination and cleanup challenges at military bases and surrounding communities. PFAS, a toxic class of chemicals linked to cancer and infertility, has created significant public health challenges across the country including the Northern Marianas. PFAS chemicals have been commonly used because of their ability to repel oil and water and can be found in nonstick products, paints, stains and water repellents, cleaning products, food packaging, and firefighting foams. House and Senate versions of the NDAA contain provisions that would examine the scope of contamination through reporting and monitoring, reduce or eliminate sources of PFAS pollution, remediate PFAS contamination in military communities, and designate PFAS as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. These measures are necessary to protect the health of all Americans from the dangers of PFAS and should be retained in the 2020 NDAA conference agreement.