House Revives and Passes PFAS Bill
The House of Representatives passed the PFAS Action Act to regulate the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on July 21, 2021. The bill’s passing follows FDA’s recently published update on testing of PFAS in food to better understand the presence of PFAS in the food supply. As our readers know, PFAS are known for their grease, water, and oil-resistant properties. They are used in a variety of consumer products, including food-contact materials.
As passed by the House, the bill would (1) require the Environmental Protection Agency to add two PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroactanesulfonic acid (PFOS), to the list of hazardous substances within one year and assess all other PFAS within five years to determine whether they should be designated as hazardous substances; and (2) require EPA to determine whether PFAS should be designated as toxic pollutants under the Clean Water Act. Designation as a hazardous substance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Liability, and Compensation Act (CERCLA) triggers remediation for and cleanup of sites impacted by the substances but does not regulate use of hazardous substances. The bill would also require the EPA Administrator to monitor PFAS in drinking water and permit a “PFAS-free” indication on nonstick cookware.
The bill passed 241-183, with 23 Republican members joining Democrats, and will now move to the Senate. The Act is a revived version of a 2020 bill of the same name that passed the House in January 2020 but died in a Republican-led Senate.