2019 was filled with challenges, opportunities, and accomplishments for our district. Allow me to share with you a few of our recent successes.

Funding for PFAS Containment and Filtration at Horsham Air Guard Station

On January 2, 2020, my office got great news: the Air Force had disbursed $2.8 million in funds that will allow Horsham Air Guard Station (formerly Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove) to partner with the Warminster Municipal Authority to build a permanent containment and filtration system for PFAS-contaminated surface water.

For years, we have been concerned by the ongoing contamination flowing from the Willow Grove base and into our region’s groundwater. On December 16, 2019, I sent a letter to the Comptroller of the Air Force, emphasizing the ongoing risks to people in our area and urging final approval of the Willow Grove project.

Two weeks later, we learned that the funds had come through – bringing us a step closer to cleaning up our region’s drinking water.

House Passes Sweeping PFAS Legislation

More recently, we made additional progress on PFAS. On January 10, the House passed the PFAS Action Act (H.R. 535). This legislation will:

  • Require EPA to mandate cleanup of contaminated sites, set air emission limits, and limit new  PFAS chemicals in the marketplace;
  • Identify health risks by requiring comprehensive health testing, reporting, and monitoring of PFAS;
  • Require a national PFAS drinking water standard that creates clarity for states, municipalities, and private firms; and
  • Hold polluters accountable.

I was pleased to see parts of my bill, H.R. 2600, included; this legislation will require EPA to develop rules for safe disposal of PFAS substances. Now, the PFAS Action Act goes to the Senate for consideration.

Peter Biar Ajak Pardoned and Released from Prison

In February, 2019, one of our interns brought an important story to our staff’s attention: Peter Biar Ajak, a South Sudanese peace activist who once lived in Philadelphia and studied at La Salle University, was a political prisoner in his home country. We found the story troubling – and all the more so because I remembered Peter from my time as a professor at La Salle. He was – and is – a brilliant, courageous young man, and we decided to do whatever we could to help him earn the pardon he deserved.

Over the ensuing months, my staff and I worked closely with Capitol Hill colleagues, diplomats, and Peter’s lawyers. I gave two speeches about Peter’s plight on the House floor, and six of my Congressional colleagues joined me in a letter urging the State Department to press for his release.

Many others contributed to this effort as well – including Peter’s wife, Nyathon, and a group of his friends from La Salle. And on January 2, 2020, we got a second piece of wonderful news: South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had pardoned Peter and 30 other political prisoners. Two days later, he walked out of prison and into the arms of his family.



P.S: House ethics rules prohibit me from sending unsolicited messages from my official email account during primary and general election campaigns. This spring, the "blackout" period runs from January 29 through April 28. If you would like to stay in touch and receive updates during this period, please sign up for my newsletter.

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