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Pingree Joins 59 House Members in Urging Full Funding for PFAS Provisions in Final Omnibus Budget

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) joined a bipartisan letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of robust funding in the final FY 2021 spending bill to protect communities from harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals. The letter, signed by 59 Members of Congress, outlines tens of millions of dollars in efforts to urgently address PFAS chemicals and ensure clean water. 

“PFAS chemicals have been found in our drinking water because of their use in firefighting foam and other commercial products. Harmful PFAS chemicals have been linked to serious health effects, including high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Furthermore, there is preliminary evidence that PFAS chemicals could exacerbate the effects of COVID-19,” the letter reads.

The lawmakers detailed several programs they urged to be fully funded, including:

  • $2.5 million to support EPA’s regulatory work needed to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund law.
  • $2.487 million for the development of wastewater standards, also known as Effluent Limitation Guidelines, for PFAS chemicals.
  • $1.5 million for setting Maximum Contaminant Levels for PFAS in drinking water.
  • $3.5 million to help support research needs on PFAS in air, agriculture settings and Health and Environmental Risk Assessments.
  • $15 million for the multipurpose grant program included in the FY 20 appropriations bill, requiring that funds be used for assisting states with their regulatory, cleanup and remediation responses to PFAS contamination.

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Pingree has long been a vocal advocate for the cleanup and regulation of PFAS chemicals, commonly known as “forever chemicals.” Pingree serves as the Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, where she oversees the Environmental Protection Agency. On this committee, she helped to secure funding for scientific and regulatory work on PFAS in the FY2020 Interior Appropriations bill. Pingree has co-sponsored the PFAS Action Act, which would require the Environmental Protection Agency to list all PFAS chemicals, including PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals, as hazardous substances under the Superfund clean-up program within one year.




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