Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
December 9, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act conference report excluding amendments to address PFAS chemicals:

“I am disappointed that this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) does not include a comprehensive set of provisions to protect communities affected by PFAS chemicals.  These ‘forever chemicals’ do not break down in the environment, and they can suppress the immune system and cause cancer and other health problems in those exposed.  The federal agency tasked with protecting public health from dangerous chemicals like PFAS has failed to do its job under this Administration, and the Trump Administration’s PFAS ‘action plan’ is all talk, no action.   That is why Congress must be a source of action. 

“The House unanimously adopted an amendment to the NDAA that would have required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate PFAS as a hazardous substance under our nation’s Superfund law.  Had this provision been included in the final NDAA, it would have triggered the process for identifying and cleaning up contaminated PFAS sites across the country, including the 401 Defense Department sites with known or suspected PFAS contamination.  The House also unanimously adopted an amendment that would have required the EPA to set, for the first time, clear limits on the level of PFAS chemicals that can be dumped into our nation’s waterways.  Unfortunately, Senate Republicans refused time and time again to negotiate any compromise on these important provisions or to strengthen legislative language, which has also been dropped from the final NDAA conference report, on drinking water standards to ensure that the EPA under the Trump Administration cannot weaken them.
 
“Last month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Frank Pallone and Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko, marked up bipartisan legislation to address PFAS contamination in a comprehensive manner.  Americans deserve action to address these harmful pollutants and the peace of mind that the water they drink is safe.  In light of the exclusion of key PFAS amendments from the NDAA, I will bring the PFAS Action Act to the House Floor for a vote when the House reconvenes in January.”