Environment Subcommittee Pressed Corporations on Efforts to Conceal Health Risks of PFAS Chemicals

Sep 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Sept.11, 2019)— Rep. Harley Rouda, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, held a hearing on “The Devil They Knew: PFAS Contamination and the Need for Corporate Accountability, Part III.”

TAKEAWAYS

  • Former Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson testified that 3M has known about the health dangers of PFAS chemicals since the 1950s, and actively concealed that information from consumers and the EPA.  Rob Bilott, an attorney who has represented people effected by PFAS contamination, detailed what DuPont knew about the health risks associated with PFAS for decades and the company’s efforts to conceal this information from the public. 
     
  • Despite decades of research from their own scientists that linked PFAS chemicals to negative health consequences, 3M testified that there is “no cause and effect” between PFAS chemicals and adverse health impacts. DuPont, however, affirmed its support for designating PFOA and PFOS, two notorious long-chain PFAS chemicals, as hazardous substances under the Superfund law, while 3M declined to do so.
     
  • DuPont, 3M, and Chemours all refused to commit to compensate victims who have been harmed by PFAS chemicals.
     
  • Lawmakers pressed DuPont, 3M, and Chemours on the designation of PFAS chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS, as hazardous substances under the Superfund law.

WITNESSES

Panel One

Robert A. Bilott
Partner
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Lori Swanson
Former Attorney General
State of Minnesota

Matthew Hardin (minority witness)
Commonwealth Attorney
Greene County, Virginia

Panel Two

Denise R. Rutherford
Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs
The 3M Company

Paul Kirsch
President of Fluoroproducts
The Chemours Company

Daryl Roberts
Chief Operations & Engineering Officer
DuPont de Nemours, Inc.

VIDEOS

Watch Chairman Rouda’s question line.

Watch Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s question line.

Watch Rep. Wasserman-Schultz’s question line.

116th Congress