The Devil They Knew – PFAS Contamination and the Need for Corporate Accountability

Date: 
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - 2:00pm
Location: 
2247 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
The Devil They Knew – PFAS Contamination and the Need for Corporate Accountability

 

CHAIRMAN ROUDA'S OPENING STATEMENT

PURPOSE

The hearing will examine the history of the science behind the health risks associated with PFAS chemicals; what corporations knew about this science and when they knew it; the current levels of PFAS chemical contamination in the United States; and industry efforts to clean up contaminated sites. The Subcommittee also plans to highlight the steps both Democratic and Republican state governments are currently taking to regulate PFAS chemicals and hold corporate polluters accountable

BACKGROUND

  • PFAS chemicals are currently unregulated by the federal government and this absence of federal action has pushed states, under both Democrat and Republican leadership, to take efforts to regulate PFAS chemicals.  A Subcommittee hearing on PFAS in March highlighted that there is bipartisan agreement that PFAS chemicals need more regulation by the EPA.
  • PFAS chemicals may lead to serious, adverse health outcomes in humans, including decreased fertility, an increased risk of thyroid disease, increased cholesterol levels, and they have also been linked to cancer.  PFAS chemicals commonly used in the U.S. have been linked to birth defects and delayed development.
  • Major corporations which produced or used PFAS chemicals to make everyday consumer goods, such as DuPont’s Teflon and 3M’s Scotchgard, knew of the health risks of PFAS chemicals but actively suppressed the information.  
  • Up to 110 million Americans have been exposed to PFAS chemicals through their drinking water, and PFAS chemicals have also been detected in the country’s food supply, such as at dairy farms.

WITNESSES

Panel One

Mr. Bucky Bailey
Affected Resident and Activist, Parkersburg, West Virginia

Ms. Emily Donovan
Co-Founder, Clean Cape Fear

Ms. Sandy Wynn-Stelt 
Affected Resident and Activist, Belmont, Michigan

Panel Two

Dr. Jamie C. DeWitt 
Associate Professor, East Carolina University

Mr. Glenn Evers
President, IS2 Consulting

Ms. Jane C. Luxton
Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Ms. Catherine R. McCabe
Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Mr. Robert R. Scott
Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Mr. Steve Sliver
Executive Director, Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

116th Congress