HORSHAM, PA – Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA) today called for a strict, health-based, nationwide drinking water standard by the EPA in light of a federal study into PFOS/PFOA health effects, released last week, which EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sought to keep from the public.
“Our constituents have a right to clean drinking water. The more we learn about these chemicals, the clearer the danger becomes. The EPA must respond to the latest scientific health study and implement an enforceable maximum contaminant level for PFOS and PFOA. It’s unacceptable that political considerations by Administrator Pruitt played any role in the release of this health study. We need transparency from our government. Since Mr. Pruitt has not provided that, he should leave. The federal government caused this public health crisis, and we will continue to hold them accountable for remediating this situation,” said Fitzpatrick. “I want to thank my colleague Brendan Boyle for his partnership in calling for the release of this study, securing federal funding for a health study and remediation, and calling for additional safeguards to remedy this contamination immediately.”
“For years we’ve been fighting for the full force of the federal government to quickly and comprehensively address PFOS and PFOA drinking water contamination. Our communities are on the front lines of this issue,” said Congressman Boyle. “Now that the health study Scott Pruitt tried to keep from us has been released, we know the status quo is not acceptable. We will be watching the EPA and White House very closely and pushing for action. The more they drag their feet, the loader the chorus on Capitol Hill grows. We will hold them accountable to impacted communities like ours. Every American should be able to trust the safety of their drinking water.”
Boyle and Fitzpatrick led a bipartisan House letter calling for the release of the study, and have worked together to secure federal funding and call for federal regulation to address the issue and remedy contamination immediately. The draft study found that the current health advisory of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for two types of PFAS that plague the Horsham area, PFOS and PFOA, is seven to ten times higher than what ATSDR has identified as the minimal risk level (MRL) for these chemicals.
In front of the Horsham Air Guard Station, Congressmen Boyle and Fitzpatrick renewed their call for full, comprehensive action without further delay to adequately protect public health. The primary purpose of the research into adverse human health effects associated with PFAS exposure is to determine whether or not PFAS are hazardous substances. Administrator Pruitt has declared that, by the end of calendar year 2018, the EPA is planning to release a National PFAS Management Plan. This plan would begin with the characterization of PFAS as a hazardous substance, which would then require the establishment of a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). The MCL would provide constituents with the full suite of regulatory recourse detailed in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or CERCLA.
These chemicals (PFOS & PFOA) have been reported in public and private drinking wells at and around the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster and former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Horsham, as well as the Horsham Air Guard Station. These contaminants have also been found or are suspected in communities surrounding over 100 military installations and numerous industrial properties nationwide.