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Hudson's GenX Amendments Added to PFAS Legislation

January 9, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2020
Hudson's GenX Amendments Added to PFAS Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), a leader on efforts to tackle GenX and address contamination in the Cape Fear River, spoke on the House floor urging his colleagues to support two amendments he offered to the PFAS Action Act of 2019 (H.R. 535). Rep. Hudson's amendments were adopted by voice and added to the bill which the House will vote on tomorrow.

The transcript of Rep. Hudson's floor speech is below.
"Thank you, Madam Chair. I rise today to offer my first amendment to H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act.
For the last several years my constituents and neighboring communities in North Carolina have dealt with contamination from the PFAS chemical GenX. The company Chemours has been discharging this chemical into the air as well as the waters of the Cape Fear River, a common source of drinking water.
To put it simply, my constituents are scared. They're frustrated because this has been an ongoing issue, and they don't have enough information.
This is an issue I've been working on for many years. I've demanded action from the EPA. I had the EPA come to Fayetteville and hear directly from our community. At our community engagement event, hundreds of people attended, and many shared their concerns with the potential links between GenX and serious health problems.
I worked with our Chairman to have an Energy and Commerce hearing and we invited Emily Donovan, a founding member of Clean Cape Fear in North Carolina, to testify. Emily gave compelling testimony about her personal experiences and the many people who have ‘suffered from the trauma of cancer treatments, benign tumors, and terminal diagnoses.'
I've talked with many of my constituents, including one whose neighbor has cancer, and they don't know if it's connected to GenX. They can't get information about it and they're worried about their own children.
This is about getting answers for our community. This is about making sure my constituents are protected and the water we're drinking is safe.
Until I know the science behind GenX, until I know exactly what safe levels and unsafe levels of exposure are, and until we can adequately clean up the exposure we've had in North Carolina, I am not going to be satisfied.
I have a letter here from Secretary Michael Regan of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality supporting this effort. I ask unanimous consent to have this letter added to the record.
While I understand it takes time to develop the scientific evidence to make these decisions, my neighbors are tired of waiting. We must act now.
My amendment adopts this common sense approach and requires the EPA to investigate methods and means to prevent contamination by GenX of surface waters including source waters used for drinking purposes. This will enable us to find the best ways possible to safeguard our waters both now and for future generations.
I would like to thank Chairman Pallone, Ranking Member Walden, Chairman Tonko, Ranking Member Shimkus and my good friend and colleague Mr. David Rouzer all for working with me on this and urge the rest of my colleagues to support this amendment. With that, Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time."
Background
Earlier this week, Rep. Hudson, who is a cosponsor of H.R. 535, offered two amendments to H.R. 535:
  • Hudson_019 Amendment Summary - this amendment clarifies that communities impacted by contamination of the chemical GenX are eligible for grants under this section.
  • Hudson_020 Amendment Summary - this amendment directs the EPA to investigate methods to prevent contamination by GenX of surface waters, including source waters used for drinking water purposes.
In September 2019, after consistent pressure from Rep. Hudson, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will begin an investigation to determine what actions the EPA took to verify compliance with requirements of the 2009 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Premanufacture Notice Consent Order with DuPont [Chemours] to prevent release of the chemical GenX into the Cape Fear River basin.
On April 26, 2018, Rep. Hudson questioned Administrator Scott Pruitt and asked, "Was GenX used in a manner that was incompatible with the consent agreement under the Toxic Substances Control Act? Are you in a position to determine that?" To watch this questioning, click here.
Rep. Hudson continues to be on the front lines of this issue. Earlier this year, he met with EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Dave Ross to discuss the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan. This action plan followed the EPA's draft toxicity assessment which was released in November 2018 to gather public input.
In September 2018, during a Subcommittee hearing to examine PFAS, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden applauded Rep. Hudson's leadership saying, "I understand, from Mr. Hudson, that a similar situation exists in his state and I appreciate his efforts to help North Carolinians." In addition, Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus said, "Many of us are familiar with these substances because of the work of our colleagues, Mr. Tonko, Mr. Upton, and Mr. Hudson, in their districts and states." Click here to watch Rep. Hudson's opening statement during the Subcommittee hearing. The transcript and more information on that hearing can be found here.
On August 14, 2018, Rep. Hudson arranged for the EPA to hold a PFAS community engagement event in Fayetteville. Rep. Hudson invited the EPA to hold the community engagement event so the EPA can hear directly from constituents to take action on PFAS.
Once the event was confirmed, he invited Michael S. Regan, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to attend the PFAS community engagement event in Fayetteville to further coordinate efforts between federal, state, and local leaders. To read that letter, click here.
On June 21, 2018, Rep. Hudson sent a letter to Administrator Pruitt encouraging the EPA to consider visiting North Carolina as part of their continued work on PFAS. Rep. Hudson invited the EPA to visit the eighth district, specifically Fayetteville. To read that letter, click here.
In April 2018, he questioned Administrator Pruitt on GenX and continued his efforts to monitor reports of GenX in areas along the Cape Fear River, to encourage the swift collection and evaluation of data, and to help ensure appropriate measures are taken. To watch Rep. Hudson's questioning of Administrator Pruitt, click here.
On March 6, 2018, Rep. Hudson sent a letter to Administrator Pruitt to encourage a thorough examination of GenX that would help develop a comprehensive plan for containment and removal of GenX. To read the letter, click here. The agency responded on April 24, 2018, saying, "A key priority for the EPA is to further the understanding of human health impacts of PFAS to support states and local communities. The EPA is currently developing human health toxicity information for GenX that will provide a scientific basis for states and communities to set or refine public health goals." To read that letter, click here.
This letter followed Rep. Hudson's questioning of Administrator Pruitt at a Subcommittee on Environment hearing on December 7, 2017. To watch those questions, click here.
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Issues:Environment