PFAS bill to address PFAS in the environment will take center stage in the House this week. A Senate committee has invited AMWA to deliver testimony during a Wednesday hearing on critical infrastructure cybersecurity.
In the House, the PFAS Action Act (H.R. 2467) would require EPA to immediately begin the process of establishing drinking water regulations for two of the most common PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, while also setting up a parallel structure in the Safe Drinking Water Act to govern the development of future regulation of contaminants in the PFAS family. The PFAS bill would further direct EPA to designate PFAS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), without providing liability protections for water systems that legally dispose of PFAS removed during the drinking water treatment process.
AMWA and other water sector organizations expressed opposition to the bill. Opposition occurred when the Energy and Commerce Committee last month approved the bill. Several lawmakers have filed an amendment to the bill to exempt drinking water and wastewater systems from CERCLA liability. This is in relation to the legal disposal of water treatment byproducts containing PFAS. AMWA is encouraging House members to support that amendment.
In the Senate this week, the Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a Wednesday hearing on critical infrastructure cybersecurity challenges. AMWA was invited to provide a witness. John Sullivan, Chief Engineer of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, will represent the organization. The hearing also comes as lawmakers are showing increasing interest in addressing cybersecurity challenges. This is also and several months after the Senate approved an infrastructure bill. It included new requirements for EPA to coordinate with DHS on water sector cybersecurity initiatives.