U.S. Congress Addresses PFAS

Posted on: January 29, 2020

by John J. Kowalski, CHMM

In 2019, a number of bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress specifically to regulate Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). However, none of them were enacted into law. But, Congress did address PFAS in a seemingly unrelated law.

As its name implies, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA) authorizes fiscal year 2020 appropriations and sets forth policies for the U.S. Department of Defense. However, it also includes provisions related to PFAS. Those provisions are contained within Title LXXIII, which is also known as the ‘‘PFAS Act of 2019.’’ Of the Title LXXIII provisions, those which will directly impact the regulated community are summarized below.

  • Section 7311 adds certain PFAS to the list of unregulated contaminants to be monitored under Section 1445(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
  • Section 7321 adds certain PFAS to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
  • Section 7351 amends Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) so as to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promulgate a rule, not later than January 1, 2023, to require reporting on certain PFAS.
  • Section 7352 requires EPA to finalize, not later than June 22, 2020, a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for long-chain PFAS that was proposed on January 21, 2015.

Recommended Action Item

Continue to watch this space, as we will post additional articles as EPA acts to implement these statutory mandates.


National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, Pub. L. No. 116-92, December 20, 2019:


United States

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