facebook-24x24

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) led a bipartisan group of senators in filing an amendment to require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish an unreleased federal study about widespread water contamination from commonly-used chemicals. According to media reports and publicly available emails, officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blocked the release of the HHS report showing that far lower levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) threaten human health than previously known.
 
In addition to Udall, the amendment was filed by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

The senators filed the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is pending before the Senate. The senators' amendment would require the release of the HHS study that reportedly increases warnings about human exposure to PFAS chemicals, which are widely used commercially and which are found in water systems that serve millions of people across the country. The Pentagon has identified 36 U.S. military installations across the country where on-base drinking water contamination from PFAS chemicals exceeds EPA's safety levels.
 
Publicly available communications show that the HHS study was completed in January. But, according to a POLITICO report, EPA and White House officials stepped in to block the release of the study because they saw it as a "public relations nightmare." In addition to requiring the release of the HHS study, the amendment would require that HHS report to Congress about any changes that were made to the PFAS study after January 2018 – when the report was finalized.
 
"New Mexicans and Americans should be able to trust that their government is doing everything it can to protect their families' health and safety. But how can they, when they hear reports like this – of a secretive effort to block the release of information about widespread water contamination?" Udall said. "The administration's job, especially at agencies like EPA and HHS, is to look out for public health, not to hide critical safety information through a cynical public relations strategy. Our bipartisan amendment requires transparency and accountability from the administration – and it upholds the public's right to know what risks are posed by chemicals they encounter every day."
 
"Communities in New Hampshire and many across the country have been exposed to PFAS chemicals and other harmful emerging contaminants, so it's imperative that our residents have the information they need about the potential health implications facing their children and families," Shaheen said. "The Trump administration needs to be transparent with the American people and release these toxicology reports so those who've been exposed have all the facts. I fought to establish the first-ever nationwide PFAS health impact study in last year's National Defense Authorization Act because this is such a critical issue in the Granite State, and I'm grateful for the continued efforts and bipartisan support from Senators in other affected states to move this issue forward. I'll continue to work across the aisle to help secure the release of these delayed reports."
 
"It is important to ensure EPA's health advisories are up to date and reflect the best available science and information. I hope EPA and HHS release this report immediately to ensure that the men and women serving our country, as well as our communities supporting them, are drinking clean, safe water. I will continue to work with my colleague, Senator Shaheen, on our legislation, the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, to improve federal efforts to identify the public health effects of emerging contaminants, like PFOA and PFAS," Portman said.
 
"Keeping information from people about the health and safety of their water is disgraceful. The EPA and HHS must release this report immediately and work with local communities to make sure their water is safe," Brown said.
 
"I'm glad to join my colleagues in filing this amendment to the must-pass NDAA that will require HHS to release a study on PFOA that details the effects this chemical has on humans. All West Virginians deserve to drink clean water and when the EPA tries to block the release of a report on chemicals that could have negative impact on them, they need to make it right. In 2016, Parkersburg, Martinsburg and Vienna were notified that drinking water sources were unusable because of unacceptable levels of PFOA. These issues persist in our state and that's why we need HHS and the EPA's help on this," Manchin said.

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
captcha 
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.

Welcome to our new version of classified ads.  We invite you our readers to post your own classifieds, which are available for viewing 24/7 and are very reasonable in price.

We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. It's a software problem, not easily fixable, other than showing fewer articles per summary page. If you are a frequent visitor, you might not mind fewer articles per page, but if you only come once in a while, you likely want to see more articles to browse. Write me at editor@grantcountybeat.com to let me know your feelings on this issue. 

Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

WARNING:

All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com