Axne Amendment to Assist Community Water Systems Included in House Passed Legislation

January 10, 2020
Press Release
Legislation approved by a bipartisan House will assist in cleanup of PFAS chemicals to provide safe drinking water

Washington D.C. — Today, the House passed comprehensive legislation to combat toxic per- and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals that includes an amendment introduced by Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03). The amendment, which expands public health resources to assist with local cleanup efforts, was adopted unanimously last night during debate on the bill.

“I have heard the concerns of Iowans worried about the threat that PFAS may pose to them, their children, and expectant mothers,” said Rep. Axne. “It is past time for the federal government to step in to stop production of these dangerous chemicals and protect our local communities by providing the resources for cleanups. My amendment expands and extends those resources to make sure there aren’t financial burden on communities who are found to be at risk from these toxic chemicals.”

Rep. Axne’s amendment adds an additional $300 million and more than doubles length of the authorization for the PFAS Infrastructure Grant Program, which will ensure local utilities have the resources they need to protect water systems without burdening the communities they serve with an unaffordable expense.

With Rep. Axne’s amendment, the infrastructure grants are available for five years, giving more time for the testing required for local officials to determine whether cleanups or grant funding are needed.

In the bill’s original form, there was $200 million authorized for the grant program for only two years.

Rep. Axne’s full remarks on her amendment can be found here.

PFAS chemicals have been linked with adverse health effects including cancer, immune system effects, impaired child development, and thyroid disease. The man-made class of substances are extremely persistent due to their molecular structure, and are often called “forever chemicals.”

In November, Rep. Axne held a roundtable with local stakeholders at Des Moines Water Works to discuss PFAS and other drinking water safety concerns.