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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair DeFazio Votes to Protect Oregonians from PFAS Chemicals

Jan 10, 2020
Press Release

Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) voted in support of H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019, which passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 247 to 159.

“For too long, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat has been threatened by contamination from PFAS chemicals. Despite acknowledging the concern about the human health effects of PFAS-related chemicals and pledging to do more to control these ongoing sources of pollution, this administration has completely failed to do its job,” said Chair DeFazio. “Today’s passage of the PFAS Action Act is an essential step in ensuring that Oregonians are protected from these hazardous toxins and towards spurring the cleanup of PFAS-related contamination. I am proud to have voted for this critical legislation and to have helped author two key amendments that were adopted.”

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (referred to as PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals.  Often called “forever chemicals,” these substances are extremely persistent in the environment and are known to bioaccumulate in humans and wildlife.

According to newly released data by the Department of Defense, PFAS chemicals are known to be contaminating the drinking water supplies of several Army installations in Oregon, including the Lane County Armed Forces Reserve Center in Springfield; the Army National Guard Armory in Lebanon; the Army National Guard Armory in Roseburg; and the Army National Guard Armory in Grants Pass.

PFAS have long been linked with adverse health effects including cancer, immune system effects, infertility, impaired child development, high cholesterol, and thyroid disease.