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Rep. Johnson Votes to Protect the Health of American Families from Dangerous Forever Chemicals

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Johnson voted to pass H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act, to protect families from PFAS “forever chemicals” and designate them as hazardous substances, clean up existing contamination and protect public health by providing critical resources for communities. 

“For communities throughout Georgia and across the country, PFAS contamination is having a devastating effect on the health and well-being of our children and families,” said Rep. Johnson.  “I have been consistently fighting to secure full, robust protections against these dangerous forever chemicals and ensure that the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat is clean, safe and free from contamination.  Our communities have been waiting too long for Congress to act. Today’s passage of the PFAS Action Act is a key victory for the people of Georgia and all Americans, and will be essential to ensuring that polluters and the Administration take the steps necessary to rid our communities of these hazardous, toxic forever chemicals.”

PFAS chemicals represent a serious public health risk to nearly all Americans, exposing millions of men, women and children to life-threatening illness and disease, including multiple forms of cancer, liver disease, asthmas, thyroid dysfunction, infertility and impaired child development.  This epidemic also poses a serious threat to over 400 U.S. military sites across the country, exposing our brave troops and their families to dangerous levels of contamination from forever chemicals.

House Democrats fought hard to include the PFAS Action Act’s vital funding and provisions in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act, only to be met with outrageous, partisan obstruction by the Republican Senate which fought relentlessly to prevent many of these life-saving measures from becoming law.  Now, the Democratic House is taking long-overdue action to protect and improve the health of our families and our communities by finally passing this comprehensive, bipartisan package of 12 vital bills.

With this legislation, we are cleaning up our communities today by:

  • Designating PFAS as hazardous substances by the EPA, which is the key barrier to cleaning up military and industrial sites; and
  • Creating new, robustly funded grants and partnerships with states to help with clean-up and remediation efforts.

And we are helping prevent future contamination, with:

  • Tough new testing, reporting and monitoring requirements;
  • Strict limits on the introduction of new PFAS chemicals;
  • Limits on air emissions and banning unsafe incineration; and
  • Strong measures to hold contaminating companies accountable.

“Forever chemicals are continuing to endanger Georgia communities, and it is time for Senate Republicans to end their obstruction and join House Democrats to clean up contaminated communities and protect millions of Americans,” continued Rep. Johnson.  “This issue will remain a top priority for me and for all House Democrats as we work For The People, to deliver meaningful progress that makes a difference in the lives of hard-working Americans.”