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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: August 17, 2018 10:09 AM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act-Enhance Public Health and Safety Across our Commonwealth

The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) provides DEP with the funding and authority to conduct cleanup actions at sites where hazardous substances have been released.

HSCA also provides DEP with enforcement authority to force the persons or parties who are responsible for releases of hazardous substances to conduct cleanup actions or to repay public funds spent on a DEP-funded cleanup action. HSCA also allows the Commonwealth to participate fully in the cleanup of Pennsylvania sites under the Federal Superfund Program. In addition, HSCA provides for a private right of action for cleanup cost recovery.

HSCA clearly articulates what substances are considered hazardous enough to clean-up. This list does NOT include the contaminants PFOA and PFOS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

The EPA advises that “Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a diverse group of compounds resistant to heat, water, and oil. For decades, they have been used in hundreds of industrial applications. These chemicals are persistent, and resist degradation in the environment. They also bioaccumulate, meaning their concentration increases over time in the blood and organs. At high concentrations, certain PFOA and PFOS substances have been linked to adverse health effects.”

These chemicals were present in firefighting foams which were used at many military installations across our Commonwealth. Now, many communities throughout Pennsylvania are finding that their community water supplies have dangerously high levels of these chemicals due to the runoff of the military firefighting foams into local water supplies and aquifers.

I will soon introduce legislation that adds PFOA and PFOS to the HSCA dangerous substance list. By adding PFOA and PFOS to the HSCA list, we empower our Commonwealth to seek remedy from the Federal Government relative to clean-up and remediation. Adding PFOA and PFOS to the hazardous substance list not only empowers DEP, but every municipality, local water company, or other victim of contamination to bring an action to recover costs of remediation (like filtration) from the party responsible for the pollution.

Please consider co-sponsoring this important legislation that will enhance public health and safety across our Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB2643