U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-01) and Antonio Delgado of New York (D-19), both members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced bipartisan legislation to require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine if there is any PFAS contamination on any of their facilities or operating sites.
The bill also requires the Corps to identify the contaminants and their plan to clean up contaminated sites. The Corps, tasked with supporting water infrastructure across the country, has a research arm that monitors water safety during projects.
The legislation, announced June 15, would ensure that the Corps is involved in regulatory processes at the federal level involving PFAS, and will provide Americans with more definitive information as to where PFAS contamination exists across the country.
“For too long, water contamination has harmed communities across the country. PFAS chemical contamination can lead to serious health issues, and we must act with an urgency that matches the scale of the problem. For generations, the Army Corps has delivered vital public engineering services, they have the infrastructure to support a project of this size,” said Fitzpatrick.
“Our constituents have a right to clean drinking water. The more we learn about these chemicals, the clearer the danger becomes. That is why the American people deserve to know where these toxins are used. As co-chair of the bipartisan PFAS Task Force, I will never hesitate to hold the government accountable if it fails to follow through on its responsibility to protect public health,” he added.
“PFAS contamination continues to pose a threat to our communities and safe drinking water supply. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the expertise to support water development projects across the country, and track PFAS contamination at these sites. Today, I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation that will require the Army Corps of Engineers to also look for and record PFAS contamination in existing water projects,” said Delgado.
“As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am working hard to ensure that this bill is included in future water infrastructure legislation to increase transparency around these dangerous chemicals and help our communities make more informed decisions to protect the health and safety of upstate New Yorkers.”
This year, Fitzpatrick and Delgado also introduced two bipartisan bills to address discharges of toxic PFAS chemicals in waterways and water treatment systems.
H.R. 5540, the PFAS Transparency Act, would prohibit indirect discharges of industrial PFAS into wastewater treatment systems unless the treatment plant operator is given advance notice. H.R. 5539, the Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act of 2020, would add PFAS to the Clean Water Act’s Toxic Pollutants List, allowing the EPA to regulate its release in water systems. Both of these bills were included in the House-passed H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act.