Congressman Kim Introduces Bill to End Use of PFAS

June 13, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Kim Introduces Bill to End Use of PFAS

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) announced the introduction of the Safe Water for Military Families Act, H.R. 3226, a bill that will require the Department of Defense to transition to the use of firefighting foam that does not contain harmful PFAS chemicals.

“I’ve heard from people in our communities concerned about the highly worrisome impact that PFAS can have on our water supply and on our families,” said Congressman Kim. “It’s why I’m taking this step to eliminate the threat once and for all. We must provide the peace of mind that the people in Burlington, Ocean and in communities across the country deserve.”

Perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are chemicals used in several basic industrial and household products, including the fire-fighting foam utilized by both civilian and military firefighters. The PFAS present in firefighting foam contaminates the groundwater on military bases and in surrounding communities. PFAS exposure has been linked to several health problems including testicular and kidney cancer, pre-eclampsia, high cholesterol, and thyroid disease. 

The section of the bill mandating the transition was incorporated at the urging of Congressman Kim and passed through the House Armed Services Committee as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. It is expected to be voted on by the full House next month.

This bill would also require the Department of Defense to conduct a study on the best way to clean up PFAS-contaminated groundwater.

“This problem is only getting worse,” said Congressman Kim. “The more water systems that are tested for PFAS, the more contamination that is found. That’s unacceptable. It is unacceptable for even one person to be exposed to these dangerous chemicals, let alone millions.”

This bill, which mandates the transition take place by January 1st of 2029, would protect the safety of our military families and the communities near military bases both in New Jersey and across the country. 

Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and as a Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities.