By a vote of 247-159, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to pass the PFAS Action Act, one of dozens of pieces of legislation to regulate and research a group of cancer-causing chemicals.
“Our community, home to Buckley Air Force Base, knows the hazardousness of PFAS all too well. We’ve seen elevated levels of PFAS in the groundwater in Colorado and it’s time it was addressed,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Crow after the vote. U.S. Reps. Joe Neguse and Ed Perlmutter co-sponsored the bill.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports that per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are used in a variety of everyday products, including fast food containers, cookware, water-resistant clothing and personal care products.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently has recommendations for maximum PFAS amounts in drinking water, but the bill will mandate limits. It also directs the EPA to label PFAS as hazardous and to commence rulemaking accordingly.
The Hill reports that the bill includes measures from 11 other proposals, and consequently some Republicans have concerns about the breadth.
“Innocent parties like drinking water utilities that just treated what they got from their source water are hostage to endless liability for cleanup, regardless of their personal contribution,” said U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.