House NDAA PFAS Action Act Includes New Drinking Water and TSCA Requirements

House legislators are seeking to attach a bipartisan amendment (Subtitle F – PFAS Action Act) to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes new PFAS requirements for the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and more. Some key requirements in the language are:

  • Promulgating a SDWA regulation for PFAS within two years, that at a minimum includes PFOA and PFOS; determining whether to add other individual or a class of PFAS to the regulation; adding testing methods for PFAS drinking water regulations within one year after validation of the methods for levels of individual PFAS, total levels of PFAS, and total levels of organic fluorine; tailoring the monitoring requirements for public water systems that do not detect or are reliably and consistently below the maximum contaminant level; potentially extrapolating reasoned conclusions regarding health risks and effects from information on other PFAS within a class; and more!
  • Publishing a drinking water health advisory for individual (or a class of) PFAS that are not regulated within one year after finalizing a toxicity value.
  • Establishing a PFAS infrastructure grant program for community water systems to pay for capital costs associated with the implementation of eligible treatment technologies.
  • Creating a website containing information relating to the testing of household well water. Determining that any (all) PFAS present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment and thus, EPA must prohibit the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of such chemical substance for a period of five years.
  • Proposing and finalizing a TSCA rule (within six months and two years, respectively) to conduct comprehensive toxicity testing on all PFAS; developing information to evaluate hazard and risk of PFAS in land, air, and water (including drinking water), as well as in products.
  • Developing a plan that contains the results of a review of the introduction or discharge of PFAS from classes and categories of point sources (other than publicly 24 owned treatment works) and determining whether to establish PFAS effluent limitations, pretreatment standards, and water quality criteria under the Clean Water Act.
  • Designating PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) within one year, and determining whether to add other PFAS individually or in groups as hazardous substances within five years.

Some of the other requirements in the amendment include listing PFOA and PFOS as a hazardous substance under the Clean Air Act; prohibiting unsafe incineration of PFAS; and developing an EPA PFAS risk communication strategy. For more information, read the full language of the Subtitle F – PFAS Action Act here. It is unclear what the final version of the 2021 NDAA will include, as other amendments will also be discussed by the House Rules Committee before finalizing the language to be considered by the Senate.