HARRISBURG—Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) has asked U.S. Sens. Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and U.S. Reps. Pat Meehan (R-7) and Brendan Boyle (D-13) to demand the federal government provide carbon filters on all of Horsham’s remaining wells, blood tests for Horsham residents who were exposed to contaminants in their drinking water and a health assessment for residents, particularly children.
“The federal government must do more to help families exposed to these harmful chemicals,” Stephens said.
In 2014, the EPA informed residents that their drinking water had contained high levels of perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from firefighting foam used at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) Willow Grove.
At the time, the EPA applied a provisional health advisory limit for short-term exposure.
But in February 2015, The EPA issued a fact sheet telling parents that infants should not consume water containing any PFOS or PFOA.
“This came as they allowed our public water to contain some PFOS and PFOA,” Stephens said. “The EPA knowingly allowed water exceeding safe levels for the most vulnerable in Horsham to flow out of our faucets for over a year. I find this unconscionable. The EPA has no idea how long we’ve been drinking water containing these chemicals and no idea what the levels of PFOS and PFOA were prior to 2014. This is why we need blood tests to assess our exposure levels and carbon filters to eliminate detectable levels of PFOS/PFOA completely.”
In a letter to Shawn Garvin, regional administrator for the EPA, Stephens said, “Nowhere on this fact sheet did it inform the reader that the public water in Horsham Township contained these contaminants. Additionally, I’m unaware of any informational campaign undertaken by the EPA to alert parents in the Horsham area to this admonition. Moreover, I’m astounded the EPA would continue to allow water it deemed unsafe for our most vulnerable citizens to continue flowing from our faucets in homes served by the public water system.”
Stephens is also asking the community to sign an online petition on his website demanding the federal government accept its responsibility. The site can be accessed here
“Our community does not want to hear about ‘acceptable levels,’” Stephens said. “We want the chemicals eliminated from our water supply and the information to share with our health care providers so we can protect ourselves and our families.”
Representative Todd Stephens
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster