Contact: Alex Formuzis
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group Action Fund has released its second report scoring every member of the U.S. House of Representatives for their votes on legislation related to toxic chemicals.
Reps. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) both received perfect scores, and both secured House passage of important provisions concerning the toxic fluorinated “forever chemicals” known as PFAS in the House-passed PFAS Action Act. Rep. Pappas championed an amendment to restrict industrial discharges of PFAS into drinking water supplies, and Rep. Kuster championed a provision that would create a five-year moratorium on new PFAS.
“Few have worked harder to address the risks posed by PFAS pollution than Reps. Pappas and Kuster,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs for EWG Action Fund. “Thanks to their leadership, Congress may finally turn off the tap of PFAS pollution coming from thousands of manufacturers.”
To arrive at the scores for each member, EWG Action Fund selected eight bills and amendments that lawmakers voted on during the 116th session of Congress.
The mix of legislation included proposals to gut Environmental Protection Agency science, increase toxic air pollution and replace lead water pipes.
Strong bipartisan majorities voted in favor of policies that reduce and remediate PFAS, which have been linked to serious health problems.
Three of the eight votes on chemical policy taken in the 116th Congress were related to PFAS. Two votes to reduce and remediate PFAS pollution passed with strong bipartisan support and a vote to block the designation of PFAS as a “hazardous substance” failed.
By contrast, the Trump administration has failed to regulate PFAS chemicals. In particular, the administration has failed to restrict industrial discharges of PFAS into the air and water, failed to set a national drinking water standard for PFAS, and failed to clean up legacy PFAS contamination.
In addition, the administration reversed a ban of a pesticide linked to brain damage, stopped a rule to ban toxic PCBs in school light fixtures, proposed a loophole for toxic air pollution, allowed a rocket fuel chemical to stay in drinking water, failed to protect workers from a deadly paint-stripping chemical, ignored the risks posed by the “Civil Action” chemical, and cooked the books to keep asbestos legal.
“PFAS pollution has fouled the air and water of New Hampshire for far too long,” Faber said. “Thanks to the leadership of Reps. Pappas and Kuster, Congress is finally making PFAS a priority.”
EWG Action Fund’s Scorecard - https://www.ewgaction.org/protectyourhealth/EWGAF_Scorecard_2020.pdf
Scored Bill Summaries - https://www.ewgaction.org/protectyourhealth/billsummaries.html