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Stel Bailey Travels to Washington DC for PFAS Contamination & South Patrick Shores FUDS Investigation


WASHINGTON DC.
May. 15, 2019 | FightForZero
Florida activist, Stel Bailey, joined community members from across the country in Washington D.C. to help Congress understand the importance of addressing our national drinking water crisis and PFAS contamination. 
In around 100 meetings, members educated lawmakers about the specifics of contamination and urged them to support Federal policies that would safeguard communities across the nation. Many leaders recognized the importance of addressing PFAS pollution and expressed interest in supporting policies.
In addition to the meetings, the Environment and Climate Change subcommittee in the House held a hearing on 13 PFAS policies, including a bill that requires the EPA administrator to designate the whole class of PFAS chemicals as a hazardous substance under Superfund (CERCLA), which means they would be eligible for cleanup using existing authority. 

Powerful testimony from Emily Marpe, a mother of three from New York whose drinking was contaminated with PFAS, helped make the case for regulation: “I lost myself, my kids lost their mom, I was consumed with PFOA. I couldn’t research enough. I still attend meetings today; it is my job to protect my family. The safety and security of our home fell from under our feet.”  The hearing furthered discussions on this critical issue.


Stel Bailey grew up in Brevard County, Florida, surrounded by Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and the Kennedy Space Center, where PFAS was used in firefighting foam. In 2013, her uncle, family dog, brother, father, and herself faced one cancer diagnoses. Bailey began crowdsourcing medical information from neighbors, classmates, and surrounding communities in 2014. She first learned of the PFAS contamination when the Department of Defense (DoD) report came out at the beginning of 2018. She formed Fight For Zero, a grassroots organization, and began independent testing with results of harmful contaminates in canals, rivers, wells, and traces of PFBA in the drinking water. 
While investigating PFAS contamination in Satellite Beach, Bailey learned that the community, South Patrick Shores, next to Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB), was built on an old Navy landfill. She spent three weeks going door-to-door documenting military debris at several homes, mapping and metal detecting yards to uncover buried debris. Maps and concerns regarding vapor intrusion from the unlined landfill were brought to Congressman Posey's office along with the PFAS discussion. Posey represents Florida's 8th congressional district and put his staff to work researching historical documents that may help get a Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) investigation. 
Bailey started a campaign to safeguard Florida families, children, and communities from harmful toxins. From banning PFAS in firefighting foam and consumer products like cookware to crafting protective maximum contaminant levels for drinking water, some states are at the forefront of protecting the public from these dangerous toxic chemicals. The federal government has a major role to play, and we are encouraged by the recent visit to Washington, D.C.!  

Stel Bailey and Kristen Mellow from Westfield, Massachusetts 



Stel Bailey at Congressman Bill Posey's office in Washington D.C.


Bucky and Sue Bailey from the documentary The Devil We Know


Emily Donovan, Kristen Mellow, Rob Bilott, and Stel Bailey in Washington D.C.


Waiting to begin a long day of meetings with representatives 


Stel Bailey and DP Braden, who helped with mapping Satellite Beach, Florida cancer cases


 Emily Marpe testifying before congress


With Emily Marpe, after testifying before congress


On our flight home to Florida from Washington, D.C.



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