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House Panel Advances Bipartisan Plan to List PFAS Chemicals on Toxics Inventory

October 11, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – A House subcommittee has advanced bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., that would require the EPA to list a dangerous class of compounds known as PFAS chemicals on its Toxics Release Inventory.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS chemicals, which are found in a number of industrial and household products, ranging from non-stick pans to firefighting foam.

A number of studies have linked PFAS chemicals to birth defects, infertility, developmental delays and some cancers.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change endorsed The PFAS Right-to-Know Act just before the start of the congressional recess.

It would require certain manufacturers, processors, and producers to report their usage of PFAS chemicals to the EPA, which would then be publicly available in accordance with the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act.

“Our upstate communities of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh continue to live with the effects of PFAS contamination, and we must understand where these chemicals are being used to identify potentially contaminated sites, hold emitters accountable, and protect our drinking water.” Delgado said.

“I am pleased to see the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment advance this bipartisan legislation that will take important steps to ensure all Americans are protected from these harmful chemicals, and I will continue to fight to bring this legislation to the House floor for a vote,” the New York congressman added.

Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act created the Toxics Release Inventory Program at the EPA.

This inventory tracks the use and management of toxic chemicals capable of threatening human health and the environment. Facilities in various industry sectors are required to report annually how much of each chemical included in the inventory is being released to the environment.

This reporting system supports informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public.

H.R. 2577, The PFAS Right-To-Know Act would create a 34th chemical class that industrial facilities with over 10 employees who exceed a certain threshold of PFAS yearly, would need to report to the EPA.

Delgado has made addressing PFAS contamination in his upstate New York district a priority since taking his seat in Congress in January.

Earlier this year, the representative urged the EPA to set maximum contaminant levels for PFAS chemicals as well as enact additional provisions to address water contamination in Upstate New York and across the country.

Instead of setting these maximum contaminant levels, the EPA only announced plans to begin doing so by the end of the year.

Last month, Delgado reiterated his request of the EPA to set a Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS chemicals during testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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