Maloney Demands Feds Release Suppressed Report on Potentially Dangerous Chemicals
Internal Emails Reveal Pruitt Worked to Conceal Report’s Findings to Prevent “Public Relations Nightmare”
Municipal Water Supply in Maloney’s District Contaminated with PFOS
Newburgh, NY – After news reports revealed that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt and other administration officials conspired to cover up the results of a study on the health effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposure, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) demanded that the EPA and Department of Health and Human Services immediately release the results of the study. Newburgh, New York, in Rep. Maloney’s district, experienced water contamination which originated at Stewart Air National Guard Base, and as a result, blood tests conducted by the New York State Department of Health revealed Newburgh residents had higher PFOS levels in their blood than the national average.
“I don’t give a damn about the EPA Administrator’s public relations concerns here, I’ve got people back home wondering whether or not they need to be worried about the PFOS in their blood,” said Rep. Maloney. “It’s not enough to mislead the taxpayers, now they’re willing to withhold critical health information for personal and political reasons – it’s completely unacceptable.”
In May of 2016, abnormally and unacceptably high levels of PFOS and PFOA were found in Newburgh’s water supply. Since the discovery, Rep. Maloney has worked to secure blood testing, pressured the EPA to provide immediate material assistance, and attempted to force the Department of Defense (DoD) to remediate the issue. On May 19, 2016, Rep. Maloney called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately set a clear national standard for acceptable levels of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water after the agency had relied on a provisional advisory since 2009. Less than a week later, the EPA released a full health advisory.
Rep. Maloney’s Investing in Testing Act was signed into law as part of a larger bill in December, 2017. The provision requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a five-year, $7 million federal study into the long-term health effects of PFOS/PFOA exposure. Rep. Maloney originally introduced the legislation in October of 2016, and reintroduced the bill in February of 2017 in response to water contamination concerns in Newburgh.
The full text of the letter is available below and an original copy is available here.
I’m writing today to request that you immediately cease your efforts to suppress a report prepared by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regarding the health effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This report should be immediately released to the taxpayers who funded the study and rely on its results to maintain their health.
My constituents in New York’s Hudson Valley are directly affected by the findings of this report, as PFOS was discovered in significant quantities in the water supply of the City of Newburgh in my district. In 2016, it was discovered that runoff from Stewart Air National Guard Base contaminated the groundwater that eventually flowed into the municipal water supply.
Since the contamination was detected, the State of New York offered free blood testing to affected residents. The testing found that PFOS levels in the blood of Newburgh residents are higher than the national average. I was successful in passing legislation into law to require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a five-year study into the long-term health effects of PFOS exposure. But as that study is conducted, my constituents and I have great interest in the results of the ATSDR report.
The people I represent are understandably concerned about their health since the contamination was detected. Given that this report can shed light on the health impacts of exposure to PFOS, it must be released immediately. In addition to being the right thing to do, it is your legal responsibility to release this report to the American people. I look forward to your prompt reply.