House Passes PFAS Bill, Unlikely to Move in Senate

Late last week the House passed H.R.535 – the PFAS Action Act of 2019. The bill contains multiple provisions requiring EPA to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in the environment including:
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  1. Determining whether EPA should designate the entire class of PFAS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA);
  2. Conducting comprehensive toxicity testing be conducted on all PFAS;
  3. Setting maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for the two most common types of PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA);
  4. Immediately classifying PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances, triggering requirements for cleanup efforts under the Superfund law;
  5. Listing PFOA and PFOS as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
There are several other requirements outlined in the bill, however, the measure is expected to stall in the Senate, as there is not enough support for the comprehensive PFAS provisions. The White House has stated they do not support the bill and would likely veto the bill, if necessary.