Washington, D.C. -- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after a Republican majority of the Committee approved S. 659, the Bipartisan Sportsmen Act. This legislation contains several provisions that would be harmful to public health, including broadly waiving protections from toxic chemicals and eliminating the requirement that a Clean Water Act permit is needed for spraying dangerous pesticides over a body of water.
Senator Boxer said: “I am shocked today that following the scandal in Flint, Michigan, where children have been poisoned by lead in the drinking water, a Republican majority on the EPW Committee voted to permanently exempt lead and other contaminants in fishing tackle from any regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Republican majority also voted to take away the right of the EPA to issue permits when pesticides are sprayed over a body of water. Taken together, these provisions are much more than just a poke in the eye to people, but are defiant acts toward American families who expect their country to protect them from poisons like pesticides that can harm the nervous system, impact the development of children and even cause cancer, and lead that can cause irreversible brain damage. Unless the poison pills are dropped, I will do everything in my power to prevent this legislation from reaching the Senate floor. And if it does reach the Senate floor, I will do everything I can to stop it from becoming law.”