Top Senate Democrats Demand All Trump Administration Documents on PFAS

EWG to Trump: ‘Less Time on Twitter, More Action on PFAS’
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(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

WASHINGTON – Senate Democratic leaders today called on the Trump administration to turn over documentation of all communications between key agencies and the White House about plans to address the PFAS contamination crisis.

In letters sent today to the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and three other agencies – the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget – Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) demanded all communications about the Trump EPA’s PFAS Action Plan. The recently released plan failed to set drinking water standards or groundwater cleanup guidelines for the two most notorious members of the family of fluorinated compounds.

The lawmakers wrote:

We write to request information related to EPA’s nationwide PFAS Action Plan and other related actions. The PFAS Action Plan, which EPA released on February 14, 2019, did not include a commitment to promulgate a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS. EPA also failed to release its groundwater cleanup guidelines for PFOS and PFOA in tandem with the PFAS Action Plan, despite announcing that it would complete these guidelines by Fall, 2018.

Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. Reed is the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, Murray is the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Peters is the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

“We applaud Sen. Carper and his colleagues for seeking answers to how and why the Trump administration has done almost nothing to address this PFAS crisis,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “Millions of Americans and the communities they live in are stuck in a toxic limbo, scrambling to combat this public health emergency with absolutely zero leadership from President Trump and his key people.”

“Just imagine what the situation might be in Hoosick Falls, N.Y., Oscoda, Mich., Warminister, Penn., and many other contaminated communities if President Trump spent as much time addressing the PFAS crisis as he does on Twitter hyping a phony national emergency,” Faber said.

The senators’ efforts to demand details of the administration’s plans for PFAS cleanup come the same day the Environmental Working Group released a new report, using data from the Defense Department, showing there are more than 100 military sites where tests found PFAS in water above the level the EPA considers safe.

At a hearing today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, lawmakers grilled two top officials from the EPA and the Defense Department over the administration’s failure to adequately address the PFAS contamination crisis. EWG estimates that the drinking water supply of 110 million Americans is contaminated with one or more PFAS chemicals.

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