Jul 29, 2019

House Reps Expect Questions on PFAS During Recess

Some states have regulations stricter than current federal standards

Some states have regulations stricter than current federal standards

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are on the minds of U.S. House of Representative lawmakers as they return to their districts during August recess. 

According to Politico, Congress people are expected to face questions on PFAS chemicals in their home districts, particularly. In Michigan, strict regulations are under consideration.

Some lawmakers are pressing for a more aggressive drinking water limits as part of a legislative package to influence the annual defense bill negotiations in the fall, according to Politico. In the PFAS section on the National Defense Authorization Act there are no Safe Drinking Water Act provisions. However, language did focus on issues related to the Defense Department, such as ending the use of firefighting foam in the military. 

According to Politico, Energy and Commerce Committee members are working to obtain broader legislation that would include drinking water limits. 

States such as Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire and New Jersey, all have taken steps to set drinking water limits for PFAS lower than the U.S. EPA’s current recommended limit. 

"Selfishly, I would say I wouldn't want the feds to move forward with a drinking water standard because I think we would get a much better outcome in Michigan from our process," said Charlotte Jameson, energy policy and legislative affairs director for the Michigan Environmental Council, an advocacy group, according to Politico. "That said, I know there are a number of states across the country that have PFAS issues that are not looking to promulgate a state rule and I don’t want to leave them in the lurch."