09.17.18

Peters Announces Witnesses for Senate PFAS Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced the witnesses expected to testify at an upcoming congressional hearing on the impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Peters serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management, which is convening the hearing, entitled “The Federal Role in the Toxic PFAS Chemical Crisis.”

The hearing will take place on Wednesday, September 26th at 2:30 PM, room SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the Subcommittee’s website.

“The prevalence of PFAS contamination in communities across Michigan and the country is truly alarming. We have to get to the bottom of how these chemicals are being used and monitored, what long-term effects they may have on human health and the necessary steps for cleanup,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management. “I look forward to hearing from federal officials and advocates about what more can be done to address this crisis and help Michigan families and veterans who are dealing with the impacts of being unknowingly exposed to PFAS chemicals.”

Witnesses:

Panel I:

  • Dr. Peter Grevatt, Director, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Ms. Maureen Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Mr. Brian Lepore, Director, Defense Capabilities and Management, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Panel II:

  • Ms. Andrea Amico, founder of Testing for Pease. Ms. Amico is the mother of two small children who attend daycare full-time on Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  • Mr. Arnold “Arnie” Leriche, Co-chair, Wurtsmith Restoration Advisory Board. Mr. Leriche is a resident of Oscoda, Michigan near the former Wurtsmith Air Force base and worked as an environmental engineer at the EPA.

*Witness list subject to change

PFAS have been used for decades in firefighting foams and other industrial applications at military bases, airports and manufacturing facilities. PFAS are linked to health problems including certain cancers, and families across Michigan and the nation have been exposed to PFAS through several avenues, including contaminated drinking water. In July, residents in two Michigan communities were advised to stop drinking their water due to elevated PFAS levels.

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Peters included language in the annual defense bill signed into law earlier this month urging the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop fluorine-free firefighting foams. In March, Peters also helped secure $10 million to fund a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health study reviewing the health impacts of continued PFAS exposure. Last month, Peters joined Senator Stabenow in introducing two bipartisan bills to require nationwide testing for PFAS contamination and to hold federal facilities, including active and decommissioned military bases, accountable for addressing PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the country.

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