WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva voted for the PFAS Action Act, legislation that regulates PFAS chemicals, cleans up contamination, and safeguards the public health of communities across the country. Despite PFAS chemicals being linked to serious health issues like cancer, infertility, and impaired development, the federal government has failed to adequately address the contamination.
“Communities across the country, including Tucson and the surrounding areas, have dealt with the impacts of PFAS contamination first-hand,” said Rep. Grijalva. “This legislation requires the EPA to finally address the contamination of our water supply, label PFAS as a hazardous waste, and take the necessary steps to remedy it. It’s unconscionable that these environmental justice and public health concerns have been ignored for too long.”
Many PFAS contamination locations are located near sites associated with the Department of Defense. Tucson has faced PFAS contamination from the Davis Monthan Air Force Base and has spent over $1.75 million of Tucson Water ratepayer dollars to decontaminate the water and ensure its safety for residents. Despite their role in the contamination, the Department of Defense and the Federal Government have refused to address to address the contamination issue. Due to these factors, Rep. Grijalva co-sponsored an amendment to the PFAS Action legislation that would reimburse affected communities, like the City of Tucson for past cleanup efforts before the bill’s enactment so that communities trying to protect their residents from contamination do not have to use their own local dollars. The amendment would also support the installation of treatment technologies and infrastructure needed to clean the water.
“DOD, the Federal government, and the State of Arizona knew about the harmful impacts of PFAS, yet continued to widely use the chemicals and saddle our communities with the harmful impacts,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “I will continue working with the City of Tucson to remedy the situation and protect our precious water resources. Clean water and strong public health protections for our communities are worth more than profits, and all stakeholders involved—including businesses, industries, and the Defense Department—should stand with the communities already impacted by PFAS, ensure an end to contamination, and clean up the mess they made.”
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