January 9, 2019
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
RE: Support H.R. 535, a critical step in protecting our health from toxic chemicals
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national priorities. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues and is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters, and the media.
LCV urges you to vote YES on H.R. 535, the “PFAS Action Act of 2019,” which would take important steps in addressing the growing national PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) crisis threatening the health of millions of people across the country.
PFAS are a class of chemicals used in many everyday consumer products and industrial applications to make water and stain repellant coatings, but communities continue to discover that their drinking water, food, soil, and surroundings have been contaminated with PFAS. Also called “forever chemicals” in recognition of their persistence in the environment and our bodies, PFAS have been linked to numerous health problems like certain cancers, thyroid disease, neurological development issues, and more. Although this crisis deserves urgent action, the Trump administration’s response has been disappointing at best, doing little to protect our families from these dangerous chemicals.
H.R. 535 will take critical steps forward that are necessary to reduce PFAS use, clean them up, and hold polluters accountable for the damage to our health and the environment. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard within two years, regulate certain PFAS through the Clean Air Act, require drinking water monitoring for PFAS, increase transparency through the Toxics Release Inventory, and provide funding for water treatment. Additionally, it would provide consumers with knowledge of products containing PFAS by adding PFAS to the EPA’s Safer Choice Program. H.R. 535 would also be strengthened by some of the amendments that have been offered, including those that regulate PFAS discharges into drinking water and ensure that disadvantaged and disproportionately exposed communities are prioritized for protection.
Again, we urge you to SUPPORT H.R. 535, which will take critical steps in tackling the PFAS crisis, as well as all pro-environment amendments. We will strongly consider including votes on this legislation in the 2020 Scorecard. If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.