House passes PFAS legislation

Earlier this week the House approved the PFAS Action Act of 2021 with bi-partisan support, 241-183. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish national drinking water standards for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — PFOA and PFOS — or better known as “forever chemicals”.

Representative Josh Harder (CA-10), who voted in favor of the bill said, “Every family deserves access to clean, safe drinking water. It’s as simple as that. This legislation will do a world of good for families in Modesto, Lathrop, and across the Central Valley. We know where this problem is, we know how to fix it, we’ve got bipartisan support do it, so let’s get it done.”

The PFAS Action Act requires the EPA to do the following:

  • Establish a national drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS within two years
  • Designate PFOA and PFOS chemicals as “hazardous substances” within one year and determine whether to list other PFAS within five years
  • Designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous air pollutants within 180 days and  determine whether to list other PFAS within five years
  • Place discharge limits on industrial releases of PFAS

The bill also requires:

  • Comprehensive PFAS health testing
  • Create a voluntary label for PFAS in cookware
  • Provides $200 million annually for wastewater treatment
  • Places a moratorium on the introduction of new PFAS into commerce

The White House has announced that President Biden would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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