This bill — the PFAS Action Act of 2019 — would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate all perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances within one year of this legislation’s enactment. It would require comprehensive testing of hazards posed by PFAS exposure in land, air, and water (including drinking water), as well as in products within six months of enactment. A final rule would be issued within two years of enactment. PFAS have been used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s in uses such as non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics & carpets, cosmetics, firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.
A monitoring program for PFAS contaminants would be established by the EPA for all public water systems serving more than 10,000 persons. Funding would be made available through appropriations for public water systems serving between 3,300 and 10,000 persons to monitor PFAS, which would be required. Additionally, subject to the availability of funds, a representative sample of public water systems serving fewer than 3,300 persons would be required to monitor for PFAS. A revolving grant fund would be available to small and disadvantaged communities, including public water systems with fewer than 25,000 people, while there would be cooperative agreements established for states & water systems dealing with PFAS contamination.
The EPA would be prohibited from imposing financial penalties for the violation of the drinking water regulation in the first five years after the regulation is finalized. Within one year of this bill’s enactment, the EPA would publish an interim guidance on the destruction & disposal of PFAS, while the waste incineration of PFAS would be prohibited.
Additionally, the EPA would establish a labeling standard to identify pots, pans, or cooking utensils that don’t contain PFAS under the Safer Choice Program.