Sending Office: Honorable Carol Shea-Porter
Sent By:
Tony.Hobbs@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague:

I invite you to join me in sending a letter to the NDAA conference committee requesting that they retain Section 312 of the Senate-passed NDAA. This authorizes the $10 million necessary for a health study assessing the implications of water contaminated
by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS.

Recent studies indicate that federal agencies have vastly underestimated the threat these chemicals pose, the extent of the contamination, and the number of people that have been exposed to unsafe levels of PFAS. Since 2002, the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) has repeatedly lowered how much PFAS exposure it considers acceptable. A health analysis released in June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called for the limits of one compound to be 10 times lower than the EPA’s current
threshold. Additionally,
scientists now estimate
that over 110 million people have been exposed to these compounds through their drinking water, more than five times greater than what was previously estimated.

Initial analyses have already linked PFAS contamination with birth defects, preeclampsia, and immune system dysfunction, as well as testicular, kidney, pancreatic, and thyroid cancers; but there is still a critical need to understand the long-term, cumulative
effects of PFAS on human health.

That is why I invite you to join me in supporting this necessary funding for a study to be conducted by the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, with support from the EPA. Community members who live near contaminated sites deserve answers
about how they and their families may be affected by PFAS, and guidance on what steps they can and should take to protect their health. This study is a significant step towards getting our community members the answers they deserve. To sign on to the letter,
please contact Tony Hobbs (tony.hobbs@mail.house.gov) in my office.

Sincerely,

 

Carol Shea-Porter
Member of Congress

 

Letter Text:

July xx, 2018

 

The Honorable Mac Thornberry                                 The Honorable John McCain 

Chair                                                                           Chair

Committee on Armed Services                                   Committee on Armed Services

2216 Rayburn House Office Building                        228 Russell Senate Building

U.S. House of Representatives                                   U.S. Senate

Washington, DC  20515                                             Washington, DC  20510

 

The Honorable Adam Smith                                       The Honorable Jack Reed

Ranking Member                                                        Ranking Member

Committee on Armed Services                                   Committee on Armed Services

2216 Rayburn House Office Building                        228 Russell Senate Building

U.S. House of Representatives                                   U.S. Senate

Washington, DC  20515                                             Washington, DC  20510

 

 

RE: Support for Section 312 of the Senate NDAA

 

 

Dear Chairman McCain, Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Reed and Ranking Member Smith:

 

As House and Senate conferees negotiate the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), we write to ask you to include Sec. 312 of the Senate-passed bill, which establishes a streamlined process for the Department of Defense (DOD)
to transfer funds to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the study and assessment of health implications of water contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  Additionally, we urge you to authorize $10 million for the second
year of this study that is currently included in the Senate-passed bill. 

As you are aware, the FY18 NDAA included language that authorized DOD to fund a nationwide study on the health effects and cumulative impact of PFAS contamination in drinking water, groundwater, and other relevant exposure pathways found on military installations
nationwide from the use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). Though the long-term cumulative effects of PFAS on human health are not yet fully determined, initial analyses have linked PFAS with birth defects, testicular, kidney, and thyroid cancers, and immune
system dysfunction. This study will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, with support from the Environmental Protection Agency. Furthermore, the provision directed
the agencies to complete the study and submit their results to Congress within five years. This bipartisan and bicameral initiative set forth by last year’s NDAA strengthens existing Federal and State efforts to provide answers to impacted military members,
veterans, and their families, and improve the safety of our nation’s drinking water. Therefore, we respectfully request that the conferees authorize an additional $10 million for the study, and retain language to streamline the transfer of funding from DOD
to HHS. 

There is a critical need to understand and address any adverse health effects PFAS water contamination may have on our communities. We appreciate your attention to this issue and look forward to working with you to ensure that this provision and the additional
authorization of funds are included in the final version of the FY2019 NDAA.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Environment, HealthCare

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