CCAGW Urges Opposition to H.R. 535 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Opposition to H.R. 535

Letters to Officials

January 9, 2020

House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative,

The House and Senate Conference Committee wisely removed an overreaching, one-size-fits-all per-and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) regulatory provision from H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 in the conference committee. Now, Democrats in the House are attempting to pass an even farther-reaching bill, H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act, that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate all PFAS as hazardous materials within one year of enactment of the legislation, place all PFAS under the Superfund law, and put a five-year moratorium on the development of PFAS. This is dangerous congressional overreach that would unnecessarily disrupt many industries dependent on the use of PFAS. On behalf of the 1 million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I ask that you vote against this legislation.

PFAS have been utilized for a long time and are a diverse group of man-made chemicals. They are found in products like water-repellant clothing, non-stick cookware, carpets, stain-resistant fabrics, some fire-fighting foam, medical supplies, and semiconductors. Much of the focus is on two PFAS chemicals, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), which are no longer manufactured in the United States.

On January 7, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 535. It said in part, the “bill would supersede existing statutory requirements that require EPA, when regulating chemicals in the environment, to evaluate and weigh the available scientific and technical information about the occurrence of exposures, the health effects of exposures, the treatment options available, the opportunities for meaningful improvement in public health protection, and the significant potential effects on public safety” and would “create considerable litigation risk, set problematic and unreasonable rulemaking timelines and precedents, and impose substantial, unwarranted costs on Federal, State, and local agencies and other key stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.”

CCAGW agrees with the administration’s assessment that the bill would “bypass well-established processes, procedures, and legal requirements of the Nation’s most fundamental environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act; the Toxic Substances Control Act; the Clean Air Act; and the Solid Waste Disposal Act. These laws establish valuable processes to ensure public participation and transparency and ensure that appropriate, scientifically sound actions are taken to protect the American people.”

Our nation’s regulatory agencies, like the EPA, perform best when their decisions are based on the best and most accurate scientific information available and with careful deliberation. H.R. 535 does the exact opposite. Again, I urge you to oppose this legislation. All votes on H.R. 535 will be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2020 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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