U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released draft per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) legislation for stakeholder comment. This bipartisan package seeks to improve the mitigation and remediation of PFAS contamination. The EPW Committee is seeking stakeholder comments on the draft legislation by Monday, July 3, 2023.
This draft legislation seeks to achieve the following goals:
SUPPORT EPA’S ABILITY TO ADDRESS PFAS FOR COMMUNITIES THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURE AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is already working to finalize drinking water standards, hazardous substance designations, and risk assessments for PFAS through the agency’s various regulatory processes—among other federal actions to respond to PFAS contamination. This draft legislation includes provisions that:
- Set a September 30, 2024 deadline for EPA to complete the agency’s ongoing rulemaking process to set drinking water standards for specific PFAS substances;
- Support the ability of states to inventory industrial users of PFAS within their borders;
- Authorize grant programs for the development of treatment technologies for PFAS; and,
- Create a prize competition to encourage innovation in the development of technologies that can help identify PFAS in the environment, prevent further contamination, and remediate or destroy PFAS.
EXPAND EPA SCIENCE RELATED TO PFAS
EPA has gaps in its knowledge and available scientific information about this large class of substances. This legislation will help the agency fill these gaps and build public support to address growing public concerns. This draft bill includes provisions that:
- Provide a consistent and practical definition of PFAS compounds for use by federal agencies, state governments, and other entities;
- Help bolster our understanding of beneficial and nonessential uses of PFAS in commerce;
- Direct EPA to create a clearinghouse of state and private sector best practices to support informed decision-making on these chemicals; and,
- Direct EPA to work with an external standards-setting organization to supplement the agency’s work on PFAS standards—including for detection, reduction, destruction, remediation, and verification.
ASSIST COMMUNITIES DEALING WITH PFAS CONTAMINATION
The contamination from PFAS is widespread, and communities are continuing to grapple with challenges driven by these chemicals. This draft legislation includes provisions that:
- Amend the Safe Drinking Water Act State Response to Contaminants program, as amended in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to allow states to assist individual well owners; and,
- Authorize a new emergency response program to support our most vulnerable communities plagued by acute contamination issues.
The full text of the draft bill is available here.
A section-by-section is available here.
Stakeholders may submit comments here.
Please note that the deadline for submitting comments is Monday, July 3, 2023.