House PFAS Bill Has No Prospects in Senate

House PFAS Bill Has No Prospects in Senate

Last week, Bloomberg Environment reported that the H.R 535 (PFAS Action Act of 2019) would be the first major legislation in the House for 2020. Friday, January 10, 2020, the House passed the bill, which has almost no chance of being signed into law.  “It has no prospects in the Senate,” Sen. John Barrasso, Senate Environment Committee Chair (R-Wyo.) told Bloomberg Environment. “None.”

The White House also weighed in on the bill with a veto threat that stated in part, "H.R. 535 would require the Administration to bypass well-established processes, procedures, and legal requirements of the Nation’s most fundamental environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act; the Toxic Substances Control Act; the Clean Air Act; and the Solid Waste Disposal Act. These laws establish valuable processes to ensure public participation and transparency and ensure that appropriate, scientifically sound actions are taken to protect the American people. Rather than allow EPA to regulate PFAS in accordance with the carefully devised processes set forth in these and other laws, the bill would simply require EPA to put certain regulatory measures in place."

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that aggregate cost of intergovernmental and private-sector mandates associated with H.R. 535 would exceed thresholds established in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMBRA) by $246 million ($82 million and $164 million respectively in 2019, adjusted annually for inflation). The bill would require public and private entities that use, process, manufacture, or import PFAS to comply with new rules that EPA would promulgate, including testing and cleaning up contaminated sites. The bill also would require all water systems, both public and private, to test, monitor, and treat for PFAS and to properly dispose of waste streams generated after treatment. The bill would authorize grants to states and community water systems totaling $700 million over the 2020-2024 to cover capital costs associated with implementing some of the bill’s requirements.



SOURCE: David Schultz, Bloomberg Environment • January 2, 2020
Bloomberg Environment • January 8, 2020

H.R. 535

White House Veto Statement
Office of Management and Budget Statement of Administrative Policy • January 7, 2020 • H.R. 535

Congressional Budget Office Analysis