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.
Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) received a perfect score and led House efforts to investigate PFAS pollution as chairman of a key subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight. Rouda also introduced legislation to require polluters to help pay for cleanup of the toxic fluorinated “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
“No one has worked harder to shine a spotlight on risks posed by PFAS pollution than Rep. Rouda,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs for EWG Action Fund. “And no one has done more to hold polluters like 3M accountable for the toxic mess they have knowingly created.”
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 threatens millions of Americans,” Faber said. “Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Rouda, 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