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Congressman Mike Lawler Heralds Passage of PFAS Registry Act in Mil-Con-VA Appropriations Bill

Today, the House passed the PFAS Registry Act, which Congressman Mike Lawler (R-NY-17) introduced alongside Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), as part of the FY25 funding bill for military construction and veterans affairs. A Senate companion bill is led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). This bill is the latest of a long line of legislation championed by Congressman Lawler that has passed the House of Representatives.

The PFAS Registry Act will direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a national database for service members and veterans with health concerns due to potential exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS chemicals have emerged as a widespread contaminant to the drinking water sources of military bases across the country due to their use in firefighting foam employed by the Armed Services. In recent reports, the Department of Defense (DOD) has identified more than 600 military installations and surrounding communities that may be contaminated with PFAS. This bipartisan bill would provide military personnel and veterans with updates on recent scientific developments on the effects of PFAS exposure, availability of possible treatment options, and information on what resources may be available to address their health concerns.

“The widespread instances of PFAS contamination on military bases across the country is alarming,” said Congressman Lawler. “Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for our country. We must act expeditiously to safeguard our nation’s military members from PFAS exposure and ensure those who have already been exposed have access to the latest health studies and treatments. That’s why I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor on the PFAS Registry Act of 2023.”

"It is our obligation to support the brave men and women who serve our country, and it is long past time to take action to keep them safe from the widespread PFAS contamination we know exists on military bases,'' said Congressman Pappas. "As we continue working to clean up these contaminants, this legislation will ensure military service members and veterans have access to critical updates about the effects of PFAS exposure and possible treatment options as we continue to learn more about the dangers these chemicals pose. I want to thank Representatives Lawler, Fitzpatrick, and Kuster for joining me in introducing this legislation, as well as Senator Shaheen for leading this effort in the Senate, and I look forward to working alongside them to protect service members and veterans from the effects of PFAS exposure.”

“PFAS contamination affects communities nationwide, including our military bases,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to join my colleagues on the bipartisan PFAS Registry Act will ensure that military personnel and veterans have all available information on the harmful effects of PFAS.”

“We cannot turn our backs on the brave men and women who were exposed to PFAS while serving our country in uniform,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I am proud to once again help introduce this legislation to support our nation’s veterans. It’s essential that we ensure they are aware of their risks and are able to access information about benefits and treatment. I will continue working to make sure that all those who serve are able to access the resources and care they need."

“PFAS contamination is a pervasive problem that impacts far too many of our service members and military families. Our military personnel put their lives and safety on the line to carry out U.S. missions – the last thing they should have to worry about is how the environment on U.S. installations could be another threat to their health,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m proud to lead this bill in the U.S. Senate and appreciate Congressman Pappas’ partnership in the House of Representatives to create a national PFAS registry, which would help provide service members and their families with information that can inform their health and wellbeing. Americans who answer the call to serve deserve nothing short of the best health care, especially if they’ve experienced adverse health issues related to their service – that is precisely the standard that our bill would help uphold.”

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.