La Crosse, WI – Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced that he joined 62 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Chair Brenda Mallory of the Council on Environmental Quality urging U.S. agencies to avoid purchasing products containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These harmful forever chemicals have been linked to serious health and environmental risks.
As the Administration intends to release an updated executive order soon on sustainable government procurement, Rep. Kind and his colleagues wrote, “Our understanding is that the Council on Environmental Quality is finalizing an Executive Order (EO) to guide sustainable procurement by the federal government. It is important to human health and the environment that any final EO includes a requirement directing federal agencies to look for items that do not include PFAS chemicals as an intentionally-added ingredient when making purchases during the government procurement process.
“As you finalize the order, we urge you to ensure this order includes a specific purchasing directive to avoid products made with harmful PFAS chemicals. We also urge CEQ to ensure that the order includes a requirement that other agencies follow the EPA’s guidelines when making purchases, as well as a requirement to report back to the White House on these efforts. As Members of Congress focused on efforts to reduce needless exposures to PFAS, we applaud the President for his commitment to prioritizing products that have not been made with PFAS as an ingredient.”
PFAS chemicals have been found in the drinking water of over 50 cities across Wisconsin. PFAS chemicals are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. These chemicals have been linked to harmful human health effects, including cancer, reproductive and developmental harms, and weaken immune systems. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 328 military sites across the United States have PFAS contamination and over 200 million Americans are drinking contaminated water.
Rep. Kind is a member of the Congressional PFAS Task Force. Recently, Rep. Kind fought to ensure American Rescue Plan funds could be used to address PFAS and helped introduce and pass the landmark PFAS Action Act, which would protect our air, land, and water from PFAS contamination. Additionally, during the 116th Congress, Rep. Kind joined 58 of his colleagues in calling for robust funding in the Fiscal Year 2021 spending bill to help communities across Wisconsin address PFAS and ensure clean drinking water.