Congressman Sean Maloney

Representing the 18th District of New York

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Maloney Advocates for Chemical Companies Near Water Supplies to Report Potential Hazards

Feb 6, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –  Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney introduced an amendment that would require corporations that produce chemicals with the potential to contaminate water supplies to disclose the health and environmental hazards of these chemicals. Although supported by both West Virginia Republicans, Rep. Maloney’s amendment failed on party lines by a vote of 187-231. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video

"A few weeks ago, we all woke up to learn that 300,000 people in West Virginia couldn’t drink their water. A mother trying to put their child in the bath tub couldn’t turn on the faucet. A father mixing baby formula for an infant couldn’t trust what came out of the tap. For a week, families couldn’t do the things that each of us do every day. Hundreds were hospitalized. Because businesses had to lock their doors, even people making the meager $7.25 inadequate federal minimum wage couldn’t go to work because the businesses were shut and couldn’t provide for their families. Schools shut down. Anxious, worried, parents by the thousands lined up every day for National Guard troops to supply them with safe water.

“This happened right here in America - not in some foreign country. And it happened for a reason. It happened because one greedy operator thought it made sense to store toxic chemicals in a tank he didn’t inspect, right next to the water supply.  You can’t tell me that the free market took care of that problem. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of West Virginians who can’t drink their water.

“Have we lost so much faith in ourselves acting together that we can’t protect the American people from this kind of toxic spill? If this House isn’t doing this, if we aren’t protecting a mom trying to give baby formula to their child, what are we doing here? 

“Again, I join many of you in supporting the underlying emphasis of this bill. Let’s get government out of the way for our hunters, our anglers, our sportsmen. A dad should be able to share a first marksmanship experience with his son or daughter just like my dad did with me and my brothers. But to preserve these freedoms, if government needs to get out of the way at times, then surely it must protect us at times from those who would destroy these treasures for profit.

“It was Teddy Roosevelt after all who said: ‘Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.

“If we really want to protect the natural beauty of our country, it starts with protecting something as fundamental as our water. Mr. Speaker, if we don’t do this, we do nothing. And if those on the other side will not use that gavel in this House to protect the American people then some of us on this side would like to borrow it for a while because we will."