PFAS Bill will be First Major Legislation House Takes up in 2020
Bloomberg Environment reports that the US House of Representatives will consider H.R.535 on January 9 pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and vote on passage the next day, January 10. This is the first major legislation on the House calendar for 2020.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced the original bill last January only requiring the EPA to declare PFAS hazardous substances under Superfund law. Following a House Energy and Commerce Committee review, the bill expanded to include 11 other pieces of legislation.
H.R.535 would mandate EPA to set a drinking water limit for PFAS chemicals and develop guidance to minimize the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS. Other provisions include a grants program to pay for water treatment technologies in communities with PFAS contaminated water supplies, listing PFAS as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA), and requiring companies that manufacture or process PFAS to submit data to help the agency understand health risks.
While the House projects a timely movement of the bill, the Senate is not expected to expedite the legislation. A spokesperson for the Senate Environment and Public Works Comittee's Republican majority has commented that the Senate already passed PFAS legislation through defense funding authorization and government funding bills in 2019.