Delgado Provision to Add PFAS Chemicals to Toxics Release Inventory Passes Committee on Energy & Commerce

November 21, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—This week, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce considered legislation to expand access to clean water during a full committee markup. Among them was H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act, a bipartisan measure that was amended to include a Delgado-backed provision to add certain PFAS chemicals to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act, is a bipartisan measure that would require specific PFAS chemicals to be listed as hazardous substances under the Superfund program. During the markup, the bill was amended with language from Delgado’s H.R. 2577, the PFAS Right-to-Know Act. Delgado’s language adds specific PFAS chemicals to the TRI in order to push the EPA to understand where PFAS contamination exists today.

“Protecting our communities from PFAS exposure must include supporting those living with the effects of contamination and working to understand where these chemicals can be found in our drinking water. This week, a bipartisan coalition on the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation to increase accountability and add a number of chemicals, including PFOS, PFOA, and Gen-X to the Toxics Release Inventory.” Delgado continued, “these are important steps in the right direction—I urge House leadership to move this bill to the House floor for a swift vote so we can better understand where pollution sites are and protect our communities. I will continue to urge the EPA to set a maximum contaminant level, and advocate for justice on behalf of the approximately 19 million Americans affected by contamination of their drinking water.”

Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA Act) created the Toxics Release Inventory Program at the EPA. This inventory tracks the use and management of toxic chemicals capable of threatening human health and the environment. Facilities in various industry sectors are required to report annually how much of each chemical included in the inventory is being released to the environment. This reporting system supports informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public. H.R. 2577, the PFAS Right-To-Know Act would create a 34th chemical class, requiring industrial facilities with over 10 employees who exceed a certain threshold of PFAS yearly to report to the EPA. The PFAS Action Act requires a number of PFAS chemicals be listed on the TRI, a strong step in the right direction. The chemicals covered by the PFAS Action Act can be found here.  

A founding member of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, Rep. Delgado has made addressing PFAS contamination in NY-19 an urgent priority in Congress. Earlier this year, Delgado urged the EPA to set maximum contaminant levels for PFAS chemicals as well as enact additional provisions to address water contamination in upstate New York and across the country. Instead of setting these maximum contaminant levels, the EPA only announced plans to begin doing so by the end of the year. In September, Congressman Delgado reiterated these requests of the EPA to set a Maximum Contaminate Level for PFAS chemicals at Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and introduced Michael Hickey – a community leader who brought to light the water contamination crisis in Hoosick Falls – as he testified before the committee.