Delgado Statement on New York Setting Maximum Contaminant Level for PFOA/PFOS
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) member of the Bipartisan PFAS Congressional Task Force released the following statement on New York’s announcement that they would set at statewide Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for use of PFOA and PFOS.
Rep. Delgado has continually called for the EPA to establish an MCL for PFAS chemicals to keep our communities safe. In January 2019, Congressman Delgado wrote to the EPA to urge them to include an MCL in the PFAS Management Plan that the agency would soon introduce. In July of 2019, the Congressman called on the EPA again to set a national MCL following New York State’s establishment of an MCL. At a September 2019 hearing, the Congressman again asked Assistant Administrator Ross if he would commit to the introduction of an MCL for PFAS chemicals that are known to cause serious diseases, including cancer—Ross would not. A video of the exchange can be found here.
“This week, New York took a critically important step to keep our communities safe from harmful PFOAs and PFOS by setting a state wide Maximum Contaminant Level for these toxic chemicals. Far too many families in New York’s 19th Congressional District are still living with the impacts of contamination and we must take every measure possible to protect our drinking water and keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Delgado. “This MCL is welcome news but we have more work to do at the federal level to ensure our water safety laws are consistent across the country. I have continually called on the EPA to set a nationwide MCL and will keep holding these administration officials accountable until we have adopted a standard that protects drinking water for generations of upstate New Yorkers to come.”
As founding member of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, Rep. Delgado has made addressing PFAS contamination in NY-19 an urgent priority in Congress, and introduced a number of measures to increase transparency and accountability around PFAS exposure. 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, and was passed by Congress and signed into law as part of the NDAA.
This year, Delgado 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. 539, 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.
Last week, Rep. Delgado successfully amended the NDAA to include a measure that clarifying that manufacturers must report all PFAS discharges to the EPA under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), even if PFAS comprises less than 1% of a chemical mixture.