Sign Our Letter Telling Congress Enough! Stop Harmful Spread of PFAS!
Chairman Harley Rouda & Subcommitte Members
We're headed to DC on July 24th! Clean Cape Fear's Emily Donovan is testifying before Congress about our PFAS contamination crisis caused by decades of deceptive and irresponsible chemical waste management from our "neighbor" DuPont/Chemours.
It's been two years since we learned about PFAS in our drinking water. We know they're in our blood at alarming levels. They're still in our tap water regularly above 70 ppt. They've ruined hundreds of private wells, the soil, air, and crops near Fayetteville.
Animal and human studies link PFAS to cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, liver damage, high cholesterol, cardiovascular effects, thyroid disease, immune deficiencies, reduced fertility, low birth weights, pregnancy complications, reduced sperm count, reduction in penis sizes, and lower breastmilk production.
Now is your chance to tell members of the House's Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment what types of federal reform and oversight are needed to protect our drinking water, soil, air, and food from further PFAS contamination.
We've created a letter listing current actions Congress can take to protect our health and our environment. Let your voice be heard in DC. Sign your name today!
Chairman Harley Rouda & Subcommitte Members
From: [Your Name]
Dear Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
As residents of the Lower Cape Fear region of Southeastern North Carolina, we are writing today to express our deep gratitude to you for conducting investigatory hearings regarding the national PFAS contamination crisis.
Two years ago, our community was devastated to discover the Cape Fear River, which is the primary source of drinking water to more than 250,000 residents, was grossly contaminated with PFOA, PFOS and Gen X, along with 40+ other PFAS. This contamination lasted for over thirty years.
The industrial polluter DuPont/Chemours, which has a plant in Fayetteville approximately 80 miles upriver from Wilmington, NC, was knowingly depositing these toxic chemicals directly into our river and a wide radius around their manufacturing facility via air emissions.
As court records, public documents, and extensive reporting on this issue demonstrates, DuPont/Chemours officials knew for decades about the adverse health effects associated with these dangerous compounds, yet they continued to allow their discharge into the environment during their production and use.
In addition to the irresponsible discharge pollution directly into the Cape Fear River, air emissions from the plant have contaminated hundreds of local private wells near the plant, forcing residents to live on bottled water and fear. Residents must seek replacement water and/or receive permanent home filtering systems from Chemours due to dangerously high levels of PFAS.
At this time, the DuPont/Chemours Fayetteville plant has been required by court order to discontinue direct discharge into surface waters and is constructing an industrial thermal oxidizer to trap air emissions. However, dozens of PFAS compounds are still detected in our river and finished tap water regularly exceeding 70 ppt.
Our local utilities are unable to protectively and completely filter these PFAS compounds out of our tap water. Residents surrounding Chemours continue to be exposed to toxic air, soil and contaminated crops, and residents remain worried about localized chemical spills from the removal of Chemours’ toxic waste streams to offsite disposal locations.
Wilmington residents have 2x more PFOS in their blood than the national average, 3x more PFOA, and 4 other newly identified PFAS linked to Chemours at alarmingly high levels in their blood. This chemical cocktail was put into our blood without our consent.
Numerous adverse health effects and diseases, including two types of cancer, have been associated with PFOA and PFOS, which has led to a phase out of these chemicals. However, industrial producers like DuPont/Chemours simply replaced these two compounds with similar molecules without testing them for human safety, essentially leaving communities like ours as unconsenting laboratories of human guinea pigs.
We live knowing that most of us have already exceeded our safe life-time exposure levels to these chemicals, simply for having consumed what we believed was healthy drinking water from our taps.
We fear for our safety and the well-being of our children, many of whom have been exposed to this water for their entire lifetimes, including before birth/in utero, and via breast milk.
We hope you will use your legislative authority to:
* Immediately regulate PFAS as a class of highly toxic chemicals--regardless of their chain length.
* Designate PFAS as hazardous substances under CERCLA so PFAS manufacturers pay for cleanup.
* Regulate the disposal of PFAS chemicals and every product using PFAS to reduce exposure pathways.
* Require consumer product labeling of products using PFAS so every consumer can make informed choices on how to reduce their continued exposure to these toxic chemicals.
* Require PFAS manufacturers provide test standards and methods for all PFAS--including byproducts. Doing this will allow states, like North Carolina, to respond quickly to emerging PFAS threats.
* Require EPA rodent toxicology studies on all known PFAS--especially the compounds already detected in human blood. Without rodent studies, the EPA cannot set regulatory standards for health protective drinking water levels.
* Begin epidemiological studies using heat mapping of all known cancers in highly contaminated PFAS communities to identify cancer clusters. Cancer is the only human disease already well documented at the national and state levels.
* Update the EPA 537 method to include new PFAS as standards become available.
* Require comprehensive PFAS testing of all public utilities to identify the scope and extent of PFAS contamination.
* Set the Method Detection Limit (MDL) for PFAS to 1 ppt. The public has a right to know how many drops of PFAS are in our drinking water due to their persistence and bio-accumulative effects.
* Set Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for all PFAS to 1 ppt based on ATSDR research.
* Deny federal contracts to chronic PFAS polluters--like DuPont/Chemours. These companies should not be rewarded for their poor stewardship.
* Educate the public and medical professionals about the potential medical risks and complications of exposure to PFAS.
* Require American manufacturers adopt the precautionary principle, where the burden of proof is on the emitter to prove a compound is safe before discharging it into the environment.
Thank you for your leadership on this crucial matter affecting our community and communities across the United States and the world.