Pappas, Fitzpatrick, Kuster and Delgado Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Assist Veterans & Service Members Exposed to PFAS Contaminants

April 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) introduced the PFAS Registry Act with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers including Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), and Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19), legislation that would create a national database for service members and veterans experiencing health problems possibly due to contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS chemicals, like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), have emerged as a widespread contaminant to the drinking water sources of military bases across the country due to their use in firefighting foam employed by the Armed Services. This bipartisan bill would allow military personnel and veterans to receive updates on recent scientific developments on the effects of PFAS exposure, availability of possible treatment options, and information on what resources may be available to address their health concerns. Congressman Pappas has led efforts in Congress that seek to uncover the health impacts of emerging contaminants in water supplies. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is introducing companion legislation in the Senate, which is cosponsored by Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).

“For decades, exposure to PFAS contamination has put the health of our military service members and veterans at risk as they selflessly put their lives on the line to protect our country,” said Congressman Pappas, a member of the recently-created bipartisan PFAS Task Force. “One of the primary responsibilities of our government is to ensure the health and safety of its citizens, and we should recognize that solemn obligation to our brave men and women in uniform. I’m proud to take a leading role in the House to introduce the PFAS Registry Act, bipartisan legislation which will give military service members and veterans access to health information, research updates, and other resources. I’m hopeful this important step will protect public health and provide relief to those who have been exposed to PFAS.”

“PFAS contamination poses serious risks to communities throughout the United States, endangering the health and wellbeing of American families,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation to protect service members who may have been exposed to PFAS chemicals through increased awareness and monitoring.”

“Sadly, we know that many of our service members have been exposed to PFAS chemicals during their service, putting them at risk of serious health problems,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “We cannot turn our back on these men and women who have answered the call to duty. This legislation is an important step toward making sure exposed service members are aware of their risks and are able to access information about benefits and treatment. I will continue to work to ensure that all those who serve are able to access the resources and support they need.”

“Members of our Armed Forces dedicate their lives to the safety of our country, but face exposure to toxic chemicals that remain in their systems long after their service ends” said Congressman Delgado. “That is why I am proud to partner with my colleagues to ensure that members of our military have access to the latest health studies and treatments relating to PFAS exposure. This is one of many steps Congress must take to address PFAS contamination, and I will continue to fight on behalf of folks in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh for protections from these chemicals in our water and environment.”

“Our service members are occupationally more likely to be exposed to PFAS, so it’s necessary that they have all the resources available to understand the potential health implications related to their exposure,” said Senator Shaheen. “The federal government has a role to play here in delivering those answers and ensuring accountability to keep our water supplies clean. Our military members dedicate their lives in service to our nation – they should have access to the information they need to keep themselves healthy and safe. PFAS contamination is an issue that crosses state and party lines, and I’m glad to have Senator Rounds’ support to push this bill – and issue – forward.”

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