Broad House-Passed PFAS Cleanup Bill Unlikely to Become Law

January 12, 2020

The House of Representatives passed sweeping legislation Friday that would classify PFAS chemicals as hazardous and subject to cleanup under the Superfund program. Most Republicans opposed the bill, but 24 voted with Democrats to pass it.
The bill’s proponents said the Environmental Protection Agency is not doing enough to clean up PFAS-contaminated water, like has been found near many military bases, and that the standards should be changed to allow less of the “forever chemicals” in water.
“Last year, EPA announced its PFAS Action Plan,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said on the House floor, according to The Hill. “It was woefully inadequate, and since that time, we’ve learned that EPA is not even keeping the weak commitments it made in that plan.”
Some Republicans said the approach, which combines provisions from several past PFAS bills, goes too far.
“Innocent parties like drinking water utilities that just treated what they got from their source water [would be] hostage to endless liability for cleanup, regardless of their personal contribution,” Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said.
The bill has little chance of passing the Republican-led Senate, and the White House has threatened a veto.

January 12, 2020

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