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Lawler-Carbajal -Van Orden Bills Combating PFAS Contamination Approved by House, Headed to President’s Desk

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a slate of bipartisan bills introduced by Representatives Mike Lawler (R-NY-17), Salud Carbajal’s (D-CA-24), and Derrick Van Orden (R-WI-03) aimed at helping curb the threat of forever chemicals near airports. The bills are part of the bicameral aviation policy package now headed to President Joe Biden’s desk for him to sign into law.

The ‘Clean Airport Agenda’ includes the Pollution-Free Aviation Sites (PFAS) Act, which establishes a grant program to support airports as they replace firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). It also contains the Save Our Airports Reporting Act, which requires regular progress reports from federal agencies as airports phase out these ‘forever chemicals.’ 

“I’m pleased that the Pollution-Free Aviation Sites (PFAS) Act and the Save our Airports Reporting Act has been incorporated into this year’s FAA Reauthorization Act,” said Congressman Lawler. “I was proud to join my colleagues Representatives Carbajal and Van Orden to introduce this legislation last year, which will facilitate the transition of our nation’s airports away from the use of PFAS-containing foams, helping ensure the safety of travelers, airport staff, and surrounding communities. As a member of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, ensuring that Americans are safe from PFAS chemical exposure remains one of my top concerns, and I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues in both parties on this important priority.”

“Clean and safe drinking water is paramount to protecting the health of our communities. But our regional airports pose risks to that threat through no fault of their own. Their use of foams containing PFAS chemicals was a requirement of the federal government, and so we should ensure the federal government is helping them phase out these chemicals once and for all,” said Congressman Carbajal. “My Clean Airport Agenda not only gives these airports a helping hand to transition to safer firefighting foams, but it also ensures we are holding federal agencies accountable for their plans to phase out these toxic tools. I am proud to see agreement from all sides of Congress on this key priority, and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

“The federal government is long overdue in their work to combat the PFAScontamination they created,” said Congressman Van Orden. “My constituents, and Americans across the nation, should be able to access safe, clean water. I am very proud to see these two bipartisan bills included in this year’s FAA bill and thank Reps. Carbajal and Lawler for their collaboration in getting folks the water quality they deserve.”

The ‘Clean Airport Agenda’ is part of the bicameral aviation policy legislation under sections 762 and 767

Last week, the bicameral aviation policy legislation passed through the Senate. After its passage in the House today, it is expected to be signed into law before the current authorization expires on May 17.

Congressman Lawler is one of the most bipartisan members of the 118th Congress and represents New York's 17th Congressional District, which is just north of New York City and contains all or parts of Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester Counties.