HR12 (2020) Detail

Urging Congress to declare per-fluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) a superfund chemical and provide sufficient programming and funding for education, treatment, and remediation of the effects of PFAS.


HR 12 - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2347

08/05

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION 12

 

A RESOLUTION urging Congress to declare per-fluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) a superfund chemical and provide sufficient programming and funding for education, treatment, and remediation of the effects of PFAS.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Vail, Hills. 30; Rep. Horrigan, Straf. 6; Rep. W. Thomas, Hills. 21; Rep. McConnell, Rock. 11; Rep. Cohen, Hills. 28; Rep. Pedersen, Hills. 32; Rep. Dutzy, Hills. 30; Rep. Stack, Hills. 21; Rep. Murphy, Hills. 21; Rep. Rung, Hills. 21

 

COMMITTEE: State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill urges Congress to declare per-fluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) superfund chemicals and provide sufficient programming and funding for education, treatment, and remediation of the effects of PFAS.

 

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20-2347

08/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

A RESOLUTION urging Congress to declare per-fluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) a superfund chemical and provide sufficient programming and funding for education, treatment, and remediation of the effects of PFAS.

 

Whereas, per-fluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are groups of thousands of bioaccumulative, environmentally persistent compounds that are used to repel water and oil, by an industry that creates non-stick coatings, textiles, paper products, medical devices, firefighting foams and apparel, stain and water-resistant clothing and carpeting, food packaging and many other products; and

Whereas, PFAS particles released into air accumulate on the ground, enter the soil through surface water, leach into ground water and form an ever-widening underground plume that travels, contaminating and accumulating in residential and municipal well; and

Whereas, PFAS chemicals were discovered to be a threat to human health in the 1970s when manufacturers that disclosed that one or more of the chemicals are present in the blood of the factory workers; and

Whereas, PFAS particles are absorbed by the body via the lungs, skin, and digestive system and accumulate, bound by plasma in the blood and in concentrated in breast milk; and

Whereas, PFAS chemicals are now present in the blood of 99.7 percent of Americans; and

Whereas, the most vulnerable populations to PFAS toxicity include children and pregnant and nursing women where the mother passes her PFAS contamination to her children in utero; and

Whereas, evidence from longitudinal studies implicates that PFAS affects fetal development, increases risk of developmental disorders, increases risk of lower birth weight, and may disrupt the endocrine system, suppressing hormone production; and

Whereas, PFAS exposure has been consistently linked with severe health impacts throughout the lifespan, such as increased risk of cancer, kidney disease, endocrine disorders, high cholesterol, and tumors, particularly in small animals; and

Whereas, PFAS in the environment are considered to be permanent contamination, as PFAS do not break down or decompose; and

Whereas, researchers have mapped and identified 712 PFAS contaminated sites in 49 of the United States, that include a New Hampshire former military installation, private industrial sites, and landfills; and

Whereas, PFAS contamination was discovered in New Hampshire in 2014, in the water supply at the former site of Pease Air Force base in New Hampshire, where fire-fighting foam was used in drills and trainings, exposing to PFAS military personnel and their families, and private citizens working and using day care in the Pease Tradeport now located at the former site; and

Whereas, PFAS production in New Hampshire has continued to be permitted; and

Whereas, in New Hampshire, several companies created PFAS contamination that is now present in air, surface water, soil, ground water, and biosolids, and has leached into local water supplies, rendering drinking water hazardous to consume; and

Whereas, a foreign-owned company that manufactures PFAS, moved to Merrimack New Hampshire after causing PFAS contamination at former industrial sites in Hoosick Falls, New York and Bennington, Vermont; and

Whereas, the company continues to have a permit to release PFAS into the atmosphere via 13 unfiltered smoke stacks; and

Whereas, ground water tested at the company’s site showed not less than 34 PFAS compounds, one of which was found to be at the 69,500 Parts Per Trillion level (ppt), though the standard Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) at that time was 19 ppt; and

Whereas, 190 compounds have been found in air emissions from the company’s industrial site, but only 89 compounds were identifiable, thus unknown contamination continues; and

Whereas, residents within miles from that site have been exposed to PFAS over the course of 20 years, completely without their knowledge, until 3 years ago, when they were told by the department of environmental services that 2 PFAS chemicals were present in high concentrations in the air emissions from the local plastics facility, and that the factory had contaminated their residential and municipal wells, leaving thousands without clean water; and

Whereas, residents were advised to stop using their contaminated well until they installed filtration systems, to use bottled water, and to wait for public infrastructure to connect adjacent public water systems; and

Whereas, the company that produced the PFAS contamination now provides bottled water to residents within a specified contamination zone; and

Whereas, the size of the specified zone of contamination is considered to be underestimated by citizens and elected officials; and

Whereas, home filtration, to remove PFAS from water, must be installed in residences that rely on wells, but this option is an expensive investment and it includes the replacing and disposing of used filters that simply move the PFAS contamination to the local landfill; and

Whereas, residents with PFAS contaminated property are unable to market their homes, are unable to move away, and suffer great financial loss, as residents and their towns scramble to meet needs left by contamination that drive up municipal costs and threaten a towns’ financial stability as well; and

Whereas, accessing clean drinking water only addresses PFAS contamination from ingestion of water, neglecting specific absorption and inhalation routes of contamination; and

Whereas, remediation of PFAS contamination from commercial releases is virtually non-existent in New Hampshire; and

Whereas, New Hampshire residents and officials are unable to stop new companies from establishing businesses and releasing PFAS chemicals into air and water, and are unable to stop the increase of PFAS waste in landfills, thus PFAS contamination has become an emergency that requires immediate national action; and

Whereas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has explored the impact of environmental regulation of PFAS for almost 5 decades, but have failed to cease the release of PFAS into the environment; and

Whereas, the use of PFAS would be stopped by the EPA, if the agency adopted the proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) of 2015, 2070-AJ99 that would be require a company to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing to manufacture or process PFAS, and would require that the EPA to evaluate the intended use of PFAS in order to prevent new sources of contamination; and

Whereas, the proposed SNUR of 2015 was withdrawn by the EPA; and

Whereas, the addition of all groups of PFAS chemicals to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) by the EPA, via a SNUR, would enable federal assistance pursuant to the Superfund Law and assignment of clean up responsibilities under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and if enacted, the Emergency Planning and Right to Know Act; and

Whereas, New Hampshire citizens want to stop the contamination from continuing to occur, start harm reduction, education, assessment of healthcare needs, clean up and disposal, ongoing monitor of PFAS levels in water, soil, and air, and monitoring of the health of those exposed to PFAS; and

Whereas, in terms of a potential funding source, there are several limited Federal grants for which New Hampshire citizens may apply, but these funds would be specifically allocated to address one facet of a complex problem, such as fund community educational response to PFAS contamination; and

Whereas, New Hampshire’s United States congressional delegation sponsored an extensive body of comprehensive legislation that works to help those affected by contamination across the United States.  Whereas, these efforts have included legislation that would add the PFAS chemical class to the TRI, banning its production, providing superfund resources to make drinking water safe and protecting firefighters; and

Whereas, United States Senator Jean Shaheen made significant gain in addressing PFAS toxicity by securing funding for a national health study, to be conducted in New Hampshire with subjects who were exposed to PFAS at the former Pease Air Force Base and present Pease Tradeport, New Hampshire; and

Whereas, the department of environmental services established more conservative maximum levels of (MCLs) (12ppt) of PFAS presence in air, surface water, ground water, soil, biosolids, waste water, to reduce the risk of health risks further; and

Whereas, the department of environmental services is consistently requesting national research and analysis of PFAS contamination and health guidelines; and

Whereas, the department of environmental services consistently requests that PFAS chemicals in manufacturing and commerce be discontinued, wherever possible; and

Whereas, the department of environmental services requests that alternatives to PFAS chemicals that are less persistent and toxic be developed; and

Whereas, the department of environmental services has requested funding to treat contaminated sources of drinking water and prevent discharges via wastewater treatment; and

Whereas, the department of environmental services completely supports the concept that polluters should pay, but New Hampshire must act to develop New Hampshire specific responses to the pollution of our water supply, and department of environmental services must be empowered by national support to act beyond their present authority; and

Whereas, in Merrimack, New Hampshire, a PFAS-related clean water action group that campaigned successfully to educate neighbors about the need for clean water, inspired members to successfully seek office in the New Hampshire house of representatives, have teamed up with local, regional and national clean water organizations across the United States, to promote PFAS contamination education, to seek regulation, and to seek legislation that stops further contamination in New Hampshire and begin to address the present consequences; and

Whereas, the New Hampshire state representatives filed bills that require accountability from polluters, provide education about PFAS, provide monitoring of health, provide monitoring of air emissions at productions sites, provide remediation of contaminated areas, provide labeling on food products that contain PFAS, and require removal of PFAS products from schools and hospitals of New Hampshire, where vulnerable populations are present; and

Whereas, New Hampshire legislators succeeded in enacting laws that establish a commission to investigate and analyze the environmental and public health impacts relating to releases of PFAS in the air, soil, and groundwater in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield, a committee to study unprotected drinking water sources, a law that increases penalties and fines for air pollution and water pollution, and a law to reestablish the commission to study environmentally-triggered chronic illness; and

Whereas, New Hampshire residents and virtually all United States residents, have PFAS chemicals in their blood, leaving them to try to reduce harm by limiting the amount of lifetime exposure to PFAS, PFAS products, and other sources; and

Whereas, we, in New Hampshire, know that new sources of PFAS can be developed under current law; and

Whereas, New Hampshire continues to be unable to manage environmental destruction by companies that continue to pollute with toxic and permanent chemicals without national support and response; and

Whereas, our congressional delegation is relentlessly forging ahead with aggressive plans to make polluters take responsibility for this heinous abuse of the environment on New Hampshire soil, and across the country; and

Whereas, we know that members of the United States Congress are fighting for significant legislation that will end PFAS production in the United States, now;

therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That all members of the United States Congress, executive bodies, departments, agencies and courts work in tandem with the New Hampshire congressional delegation, to educate, provide health care, stop production of PFAS, hold polluters accountable, and guarantee clean water as a human right in the United States.

That all members of Congress join with the New Hampshire congressional delegation in fighting for clean water legislation, including these current measures before Congress:  the PFAS Action Act of 2019, Protecting Communities from New PFAS Act, Stop Damages Act, Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act, Veterans Exposed to Toxic PFAS Act, PFAS Registry Act, PFAS Quantum Evaluation Act, PFAS User Fee Act, Providing Financial Assistance for Safe Drinking Water Act, Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act, and the PFAS Accountability Act.

That the EPA use its rulemaking power and add all PFAS group chemicals to the TRI, and comply with all new laws that are needed to make that happen, developing and enforcing national uniform risk-based standards and consistent MCLs.

That EPA use its rulemaking power to designate PFAS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), under the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

That the EPA develop an ongoing reporting system for reporting all PFAS releases into the environment and make such data publicly available.

That the EPA initiate monitoring and enforce monitoring of all public and residential drinking water supplies for PFAS contamination and make such data publicly available.

That the Department of Defense and all public agencies phase out the use of firefighting foam.

That the United States Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, and Centers for Disease Control construct and conduct a comprehensive, cohesive, and evidence-based healthcare plan that reduces PFAS harm to American people.

That the United States join the more than 180 countries that agreed on May 3, 2019, to ban production and use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts, and PFOA-related compounds, at the International Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

That the house clerk transmit copies of this resolution to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, the New Hampshire congressional delegation, and the majority and minority leaders of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and the President of the United States.

Links

HR12 at GenCourtMobile
HR12 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 22, 2020 House Hearing
Feb. 26, 2020 House Exec Session
Jan. 29, 2020 House Hearing
Feb. 26, 2020 House Exec Session
Feb. 26, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 11, 2020 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HR12 Revision: 7092 Date: Dec. 3, 2019, 9:24 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs HJ 1 P. 33
Jan. 22, 2020 ==CANCELLED== Public Hearing: 01/22/2020 09:30 am LOB 206
Jan. 29, 2020 Public Hearing: 01/29/2020 09:30 am LOB 206
Feb. 26, 2020 Executive Session: 02/26/2020 09:30 am LOB 206
Feb. 26, 2020 Executive Session: 02/26/2020 09:30 am LOB 206
Feb. 26, 2020 Executive Session: 02/26/2020 10:30 am LOB 206
Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 20-0; CC)
March 11, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 03/11/2020 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 10 P. 30
March 11, 2020 Ought to Pass: MA VV 03/11/2020