On March 28, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a hearing entitled “Examining the federal response to the risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).”

This hearing included testimony from EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator David Ross.

Opening statements from Committee Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo)  and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del) show a growing concern in Congress of the long lasting effects of and risks associated with PFAS.

Momentum in Congress is building on both sides of the aisle for legislation that would force the EPA to act earlier than planned on a class of toxic nonstick chemicals that have contaminated drinking water across the country.  Earlier this year, bills in both the House and the Senate (H.R. 535 and S. 638) were introduced that would force the EPA to place some kinds of these chemicals on a list of hazardous substances.  Both bills have bipartisan support.

Also, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the chair of the Energy Committee, recently announced their intention to introduce legislation - the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act- which would require the Defense Department to include blood testing for PFAS as part of routine physicals for military firefighters.  

Additionally, WEF and NACWA recently produced a two-pager on PFAS expressing our concerns and asks to Congress and the EPA.

Click here to watch a recording of the hearing and read prepared testimony. 

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This Week in Washington is an online news portal from the Water Environment Federation that provides updates on the latest legislative and regulatory developments that affect the water and wastewater communities. It provides concise reports of related bills, regulations, legal decisions, congressional hearings, and other federal government actions, following key issues from introduction to final determination.

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This Week in Washington is compiled by the WEF Government Affairs department. Please contact us with any questions or comments.

Claudio Ternieden
Senior Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships

Steve Dye
Legislative Director

Amy Kathman
Government Affairs Specialist