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Senate Committee Approves PFAS Legislation with Drinking Water Rulemaking Requirements

This morning (6/19), the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved a relatively comprehensive PFAS bill that has the following major components:

  • Requires EPA to set a national primary drinking water regulation for PFAS within two years, based at a minimum on PFOA and PFOS under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and would provide financial assistance to rural systems to reduce PFAS in drinking water.
  • Requires EPA to issue a section 8(a) data call to PFAS manufacturers under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
  • Requires EPA to finalize its 2015 Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) on long-chain PFAS under TSCA.
  • Requires EPA to issue guidance on how to dispose of and destroy PFAS.

This bill was considered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA), which the Senate is expected to begin considering this week. Attaching this bill to “must-pass” legislation (NDAA) greatly increases its chances of being approved by both sides of Congress in the near future, but predicting exactly what Congress will do in the future is challenging.

Sen. Capito’s website contains a video of her remarks as well as some more details about the legislation. The complete bill text can be found here.