Rep. Sherrill Holds Science, Space, and Technology Committee Hearing on PFAS Research and Development
In Her Role As Environment Subcommittee Chair, Rep. Sherrill Heard from Experts in Hearing Entitled “Forever Chemicals: Research and Development for Addressing the PFAS Problem” 
 

Washington, DC–– Today, as Chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Environment Subcommittee, Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) held a listening to on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to debate the position of federal analysis and growth to raised perceive and deal with the rising drawback and develop public understanding about PFAS in NJ-11 and throughout the nation.

PFAS are a category of human-made chemical substances. They’re utilized in many industrial and on a regular basis shopper merchandise akin to firefighting foam, meals packaging, nonstick cookware, carpets, and even dental floss. PFAS are often called “forever chemicals” attributable to their widespread use, persistence within the surroundings, and sturdy molecular construction that makes them almost not possible to interrupt down. There is rising consensus that PFAS are linked to detrimental well being penalties together with most cancers, infertility, liver and kidney illness, hormone disruption, and injury to the immune system particularly in youngsters.

Click here to observe Rep. Sherrill’s opening remarks. A full transcript of her remarks is offered beneath:

Good morning and welcome to at this time’s joint listening to of the Environment and Research and Technology Subcommittees on PFAS analysis and growth.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS are a category of human-made chemical substances. They’re utilized in many industrial and on a regular basis shopper merchandise akin to firefighting foam, meals packaging, nonstick cookware, carpets, and even dental floss.

PFAS are often called “forever chemicals” attributable to their widespread use, persistence within the surroundings, and sturdy molecular construction that makes them almost not possible to interrupt down. Despite being in use because the 1940’s, PFAS are thought-about contaminants of rising concern, as we proceed to know the detrimental human well being and ecological impacts of those substances. There is rising consensus that PFAS are linked to detrimental well being penalties together with however not restricted to, most cancers, infertility, liver and kidney illness, hormone disruption, and injury to the immune system particularly in youngsters.

As a former Navy pilot, I’ve spent numerous days on army bases. Unbeknownst to me and my fellow servicemembers, I used to be in frequent contact with PFAS. Firefighting foam used on army bases, also called Aqueous Film Forming Foaming or “AFFF,” incorporates PFAS. AFFF has triggered PFAS contamination at ranges deemed unsafe by the CDC. That is why I helped safe funding within the National Defense Authorization Act to assist clear up our army installations, together with the Picatinny Arsenal in north Jersey.

The in depth use of PFAS has led to most, if not all, Americans to have these without end chemical substances of their physique to some extent. This is one thing I’m seeing throughout my district, from North Haledon to Verona to Stanhope – and in all places in between. In reality, this challenge is so essential in my district, that one in all my ten group challenge submissions was for PFAS remediation in Hopatcong.

While this challenge is in depth in all communities throughout the nation, it has disproportionate impacts on small communities who’ve hassle bearing the expense of remediation. It is regarding how little we learn about these dangerous chemical substances and, even additional, how restricted our understanding is about what we nonetheless must study.

I’m proud to say that New Jersey is the primary within the nation to set PFAS consuming water requirements. But we’ve got solely simply begun to scratch the floor. Unfortunately, actions we’re taking in New Jersey to cut back our publicity to PFAS by consuming water are costly for our municipalities. I’m proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making actual investments to fund lead pipe remediation and removing of PFAS contaminants from water programs, making certain we’ve got secure consuming water however with out doing so on the backs of taxpayers in New Jersey and throughout the nation. This is a good begin.

But given the size of this challenge, and the price to our communities, it’s clear we have to do extra to help our municipalities combating these dangerous chemical substances. So, we should help R&D to make remediation simpler and cheaper. If we don’t, the prices to our communities’ well being will proceed to compound, and that’s unacceptable.

There are many excellent questions associated to PFAS destiny and transport, toxicity, publicity pathways, therapy and destruction, remediation, and important use. We know PFAS are harmful and dangerous, however we don’t know precisely what number of PFAS chemical substances there are – however they’re within the 1000’s. In many circumstances, we don’t have the flexibility to detect PFAS which are current or measure their focus. Questions additionally stay about international manufacturing volumes of PFAS, the place PFAS are used, and PFAS hotspots.

To reply these questions, we should help an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and built-in strategy. It is essential to develop partnerships between state and native entities, academia, non-governmental stakeholders, and the Federal authorities.

Due to the cross-cutting nature of PFAS, quite a few Federal businesses are important to addressing the issue. The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), DoD, NIST, NSF, NOAA, FAA, and in fact EPA—all are important to conducting and funding analysis efforts for PFAS.

This is an much more well timed listening to for the Committee because the EPA has simply launched their PFAS Strategic Roadmap, a complete technique to fight the persistent challenges of PFAS.

I’m notably happy to see the EPA prioritizing investments in analysis, growth, and innovation to strengthen our understanding of PFAS and speed up remediation efforts. Additionally, the Roadmap’s emphasis on protections for deprived communities which have been disproportionately impacted by PFAS is essential as we attempt to handle environmental justice issues.

There is critical ongoing PFAS analysis and growth actions, and much more within the pipeline. That is why I’m happy to welcome our esteemed panel of PFAS consultants who’re well-versed on the present state of analysis and growth. I sit up for listening to their testimony to raised perceive the gaps in our scientific understanding of PFAS and to additionally determine future analysis wants.

I’m additionally keen to listen to their suggestions for a way this Committee may also help facilitate analysis and growth collaborations between Federal and non-Federal entities and determine alternatives for interagency coordination on the Federal degree.

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