Luján Joins Colleagues to Launch PFAS Task Force
Task Force established to address the urgent threat of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in order to better protect communities, including those surrounding Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico
Washington, D.C. – Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) has joined his colleagues to launch the bipartisan PFAS Task Force, with the goal of bringing PFAS clean-up to the forefront of the congressional agenda. In November of 2018, Cannon Air Force Base informed the New Mexico State Government that water from several wells on and off the Cannon Air Force Base (AFB) had been contaminated with PFAS. These chemicals are found in foam used for firefighting and are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
“Because of this contamination, families in my district have unsafe drinking water and small businesses can’t sell their dairy products,” said Luján. “This is a life and safety issue for my constituents and people across the country. There is a human impact when chemicals like PFAS aren’t regulated properly. That’s why it’s so important for a bipartisan group of members to come together and find common ground, so we can make a difference on this issue.”
On October 19, 2018 Congressman Luján joined former Congresswoman Lujan Grisham on a letter to Secretary Heather Wilson demanding answers and urging the Air Force to be responsive to residents’ questions and concerns about the PFAS contamination. On December 4, the Congressman and New Mexico Senators Udall and Heinrich met with Air Force Secretary Wilson urging immediate action on the developing PFAS/PFOA issue. On December 7, the Congressman co-led a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler calling for greater transparency regarding any data, testing and consent agreements tied to commercial approval or environmental release of PFAS.
EPA reports show serious health implications of PFOA and PFOS exposure including, high cholesterol, increased liver enzymes, decreased vaccination response, thyroid disorders, pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia, cancers, and reproductive and developmental complications.
Comprised of Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the PFAS Task Force that was established this week will work to bring PFAS clean-up to the forefront of the congressional agenda by:
- Holding informational events to educate Members of Congress and their staff to increase awareness about the chemicals.
- Crafting a legislative agenda to address PFAS contamination across the country and make the impacted communities whole.
- Meeting with committees and congressional leadership to ensure PFAS is adequately and more urgently addressed.
- Fighting for more robust funding through federal appropriations to clean up PFAS contamination.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Congressman Peter King (NY-03), Congressman McGovern (MA-02), Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06), Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10), Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07), Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Congressman Jack Bergman (MI-01), Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Congressman Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11), Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-04).