WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the Department of Defense released the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Task Force March progress report.
“Today’s progress report proves the provisions in the FY20 NDAA to address PFAS were immensely important – without them, the Task Force would not be as focused on immediate health concerns like finding an AFFF replacement by 2024. Throughout our negotiations last year, I made it clear that doing nothing was simply not an option. As a result, we worked tirelessly to include the first substantive provisions to address PFAS contamination within the Department of Defense in the final version of the bill. These provisions have compelled the Department of Defense to act.
“This report also makes it clear that we are still learning the full extent of the impact on our communities. The identification of over 250 new sites where PFAS was potentially released is astonishing. It is critical that the Department provide communities with timely assessment of these sites, communicate transparently with impacted households, and quickly act to protect civilians and service members alike from these forever chemicals.
“It is important to remember that PFAS does not discriminate based on party affiliation – the more than 650 total affected sites are in the districts of both Republicans and Democrats. PFAS chemicals affect thousands of Americans – it is truly a bipartisan issue.
“As the Task Force continues their work, Congress will continue our oversight of the DoD to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations under the law to eliminate the use of current AFFF, fully understand PFAS’ effects on human health, and cleanup the PFAS chemicals they are responsible for.”