News Releases

Rep. Paul Tonko honored with WQA Champion award
New York Democrat’s co-sponsorship of PFAS contamination bills cited

LISLE, Ill. (March 3, 2020) – U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) has been honored with the Water Quality Association Congressional Champion Award for his support of water-related legislation, particularly legislation to combat per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination. The award was presented during the annual WQA Fly-In, a series of strategic meetings on Capitol Hill March 3 and 4 that includes the Water Resources Congressional Summit.

“Rep. Tonko has a deep understanding of water quality issues,” said WQA Global Governmental Affairs Director David Loveday. “We appreciate his leadership, particularly on issues related to contamination by so-called ‘forever chemicals,’ and his support of a maximum contaminant level.”

“Americans’ health and livelihood depend on having access to clean drinking water, yet countless water systems across the nation are under threat from PFAS and other dangerous contaminants,” Tonko said. “Without immediate action and federal leadership, our communities will continue to be at risk of exposure. I am proud of our work in the House of Representatives to pass a strong PFAS package that would address this crisis and promise to continue fighting to protect Americans and the environment from these harmful chemicals..”

As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, Tonko has led committee debates and amendments for numerous PFAS bills, including several that WQA has endorsed. He has co-sponsored several bills to combat PFAS contamination, including one that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to publish a maximum contaminant level for total PFAS.

Tonko is one of two members of Congress to be named WQA Champions in 2020, the third year WQA has given the awards during its annual Fly-In. More than 40 WQA members and staff are taking part in this year’s event, which includes the summit, and evening reception and small-group Congressional visits. The WQA delegation offers legislators and agency representatives expertise in dealing with contamination issues or water-related legislation.

WQA co-hosts the Water Resources Congressional Summit with the Irrigation Association and the National Groundwater Association


WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977.  The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).