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house Bill H.R. 535

Should the EPA Designate PFAS as Hazardous Substances & Monitor Their Presence in Water Systems?

Argument in favor

This bill would address the threat posed by PFAS contamination in the air, soil, and water by establishing standards for their safe disposal. It would also require community water systems to monitor for the presence of PFAS, and establish grants for states & water systems to address the presence of PFAS.

Ticktock's Opinion
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01/10/2020
Yes. This group of chemicals are not biodegradable but stay in the environment for decades as they accumulate. They cause cancer and disrupts variety of other biological functions from low birth weights to thyroid, kidneys, liver and immune system. This chemical group permeates the entire eco system’s animals and plants. The important thing to remember is they have been used since the 1950s, they accumulate in your body, they impede biological function and they are carcinogenic.
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jimK's Opinion
···
01/10/2020
This bill makes sense. It sets up a monitoring program and scientific assessments for these widely used chemicals that do not break down and have been shown to have detrimental side effects. The process outlined addresses issues of how much is too much, how much is land, air and water borne, and quantifies the associated health hazards. It sets up a reasonable timeline for studies before imposing penalties, giving cities and industry time to react and prepare for potential resulting regulations. It is a well thought out process for assuring that the extent of public health risks are known in advance of enforcement, as well as finding realistic methods for disposal. It is one of the more thoughtful and forward looking pieces of legislation I have seen recently- in that it outlines a long term process for assessing and dealing with a long-term health hazard and is not a redundant band-aid ‘nit’ of legislation designed solely for election year ‘creds’.
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Dave 's Opinion
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01/10/2020
The far bigger question should be “how can the EPA be restored back to a level to effectively do its job?” Trump has gutted the EPA with deregulatory executive orders that denies all science and caters to the fossil fuel industry and lobbyists and has replaced many of its dedicated staff with his “dig baby dig” minions. This man is enemy #1 to the environment and he could care less about our safety. Greed. It’s all about greed. Same situation in Australia. Their leaders also have ignored the climate scientists and warnings for decades in favor of the carbon industries and look what’s happening there.
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Argument opposed

While the federal government needs to help states that are disproportionately affected by PFAS contamination, more scientific research needs to be done to understand how the more than 5,000 chemicals classified as PFAS work before this bill’s aggressive mandates are imposed. More moderate steps should be taken in the interim.

Joseph's Opinion
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01/10/2020
Not the responsibility of the federal government
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Robert's Opinion
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01/10/2020
We have do do something to stop poisoning our drinking water. Why I do not like this bill is that prevents the EPA from fining polluters for 5 years. Why the delay? People are being poisoned!
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dionrdixon's Opinion
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01/10/2020
This bill defines the class of chemicals too broadly, it comes with no cost estimate to the taxpayers, and there has not been sufficient scientific research to determine which of these chemicals are truly toxic and what their effects are.
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Bill Details

Official information provided by the Congressional Research Service. Learn more or make a suggestion.
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Title

PFAS Action Act of 2019

Official Title

To require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to designate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.

Summary

PFAS Action Act of 2019 This bill revises several environmental laws and requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFASs. These substances are man-made and may have adverse human health effects. A variety of products contain the compounds, such as nonstick cookware or weatherproof clothing. (Sec. 2) The bill designates certain PFASs as hazardous substances, thereby requiring remediation of releases of PFASs into the environment. Within five years, the EPA must determine whether the remaining PFASs should be designated as hazardous substances, individually or in groups. The bill exempts public agencies or private owners of public airports that receive federal funding from liability for remediation of certain releases of PFASs into the environment resulting from the use of aqueous film forming foam. (Sec. 3) The EPA must require that comprehensive toxicity testing be conducted on all PFASs. These rules shall require the development of information by any person who manufactures, processes, or intends to manufacture or process a PFAS. The bill also provides guidelines for the development of these rules, including the methodologies and protocols to be used. The bill revises when a PFAS may be exempt from testing or information submission and requires the EPA to publish a list of all exempt substances. (Sec. 4) Currently, unless requirements for an exemption are met, persons planning to manufacture a chemical substance not listed on the EPA’s inventory list or manufacture or process a chemical substance for a significant new use must comply with certain notification requirements. The bill prohibits PFASs from being exempted from these requirements. For five years, the EPA shall prohibit the manufacture, processing, and distribution of a PFAS not listed on the EPA’s inventory list or the manufacture or processing of a PFAS for a significant new use. (Sec. 5) The bill requires the EPA to promulgate a national primary drinking water regulation for certain PFASs. The EPA must publish a health advisory for a PFAS not subject to a national primary drinking water regulation. (Sec. 6) The bill prohibits the EPA from imposing financial penalties for the first five years for a violation of a national primary drinking water regulation with respect to PFASs. (Sec. 7) The EPA must establish a grant program to assist community water systems with the costs associated with treating water contaminated by a PFAS. (Sec. 8) In relation to the regulation of toxic air pollutants, the EPA must (1) issue a final rule adding certain PFASs to the list of hazardous air pollutants, and (2) revise the list of air pollution sources within 365 days after issuing the rule to include categories and subcategories of major sources and area sources of PFASs. Within five years, the EPA must determine whether to issue a final rule adding the remaining PFASs to the list of hazardous air pollutants. (Sec. 9) The EPA must regulate the disposal procedures for materials containing PFASs or aqueous film forming foam. For criminal penalty purposes, materials containing PFASs shall be considered hazardous waste. (Sec. 10) The bill requires the EPA to (1) revise the Safer Choice Standard of the Safer Choice Program to identify the requirements that specified products (e.g., cooking utensils) must meet in order to be labeled with a Safer Choice label, including a requirement that any such product does not contain a PFAS; or (2) establish a voluntary label available for use by any manufacturer of any specified product that the EPA has reviewed and found does not contain any PFASs. The Safer Choice Program helps consumers and businesses find products with safer chemical ingredients through Safer Choice labels. (Sec. 11) The EPA must issue guidance on minimizing the use by first responders of firefighting foam and other related equipment containing any PFASs, without jeopardizing firefighting efforts. (Sec. 12) The EPA must investigate methods to prevent contamination by specified PFASs of surface waters, including those used for drinking water. (Sec. 13) The bill requires an owner or operator of an industrial source that introduces PFASs into treatment works (systems that treat municipal sewage or industrial wastes) to provide specified notices to such treatment works, including the identity and quantity of such PFASs. (Sec. 14) The EPA must establish a website containing specified information relating to the testing of household well water, including a list of certified laboratories that analyze samples. (Sec. 15) The EPA must develop a risk-communication strategy to inform the public about the hazards of PFASs. (Sec. 16) The bill authorizes the drinking water state revolving fund program to provide assistance to the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Guam to address emerging contaminants, with a focus on PFASs. (Sec. 17) Finally, based on results of biennial reviews related to the discharge of PFASs from point sources that are not publicly owned treatment works, the EPA shall, for certain measureable PFASs, add the PFAS to the list of toxic pollutants, or establish effluent limitations and pretreatment standards. Within two years of the enactment of this bill, the EPA must publish human health water quality criteria for certain PFASs. The EPA shall award grants to owners and operators of publicly owned treatment works to help implement the pretreatment standards for PFASs developed by the EPA.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed January 10th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 247 Yea / 159 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Environment and Climate Change
      Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
    IntroducedJanuary 14th, 2019

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    Yes. This group of chemicals are not biodegradable but stay in the environment for decades as they accumulate. They cause cancer and disrupts variety of other biological functions from low birth weights to thyroid, kidneys, liver and immune system. This chemical group permeates the entire eco system’s animals and plants. The important thing to remember is they have been used since the 1950s, they accumulate in your body, they impede biological function and they are carcinogenic.
    Like (107)
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    Not the responsibility of the federal government
    Like (14)
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    This bill makes sense. It sets up a monitoring program and scientific assessments for these widely used chemicals that do not break down and have been shown to have detrimental side effects. The process outlined addresses issues of how much is too much, how much is land, air and water borne, and quantifies the associated health hazards. It sets up a reasonable timeline for studies before imposing penalties, giving cities and industry time to react and prepare for potential resulting regulations. It is a well thought out process for assuring that the extent of public health risks are known in advance of enforcement, as well as finding realistic methods for disposal. It is one of the more thoughtful and forward looking pieces of legislation I have seen recently- in that it outlines a long term process for assessing and dealing with a long-term health hazard and is not a redundant band-aid ‘nit’ of legislation designed solely for election year ‘creds’.
    Like (93)
    Follow
    Share
    The far bigger question should be “how can the EPA be restored back to a level to effectively do its job?” Trump has gutted the EPA with deregulatory executive orders that denies all science and caters to the fossil fuel industry and lobbyists and has replaced many of its dedicated staff with his “dig baby dig” minions. This man is enemy #1 to the environment and he could care less about our safety. Greed. It’s all about greed. Same situation in Australia. Their leaders also have ignored the climate scientists and warnings for decades in favor of the carbon industries and look what’s happening there.
    Like (57)
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    Let’s try them out in republican strongholds. Let them be the guinea pigs. If they start to die off will ask the survivors if it’s time to start believing scientists again.
    Like (43)
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    When there is scientific evidence of harm then substances should be restricted & those wishing to use them should need to prove they are not harmful. An Australian systematic literature review of 221 publications through 2017 shows there is harm in varying levels. 1) higher blood cholesterol levels responsible for heart disease 2) higher Uric acid levels reducing kidney function 3) higher incidence of kidney & testicular cancer A Nordic Council of Ministers analysis of PFAS exposure also concludes higher incidence of kidney cancer. https://rsph.anu.edu.au/files/PFAS%20Health%20Study%20Systematic%20Review_1.pdf http://norden.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1295959/FULLTEXT01.pdf
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    No brainer. Ban this chemical.
    Like (24)
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    Support Debbie Dingell HR 535 STOP the negligence of water safety! Where are the pro lifers ? Crickets... So serious to STOP polluters! Educate yourself on PFA’s Montana Rep Greg Gianforte votes Nay. 2020 Gianforte is running for Governor of Montana and has donated over 600K to National Republican Party, I’m told! Vote Whitney Williams for Governor 2020
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    We continue to see more and more chemicals in our water. We need to be vigilant on what we allow manufacturers put in our water. We shouldn't water down EPA we should strengthen their authority.
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    But why would we expect Trump and the GOP to do anything to protect our health under the depleted EPA? They have rolled back 95 EPA protections endangering the environment and American lives. Read it here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks.html
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    The most basic principle of Toxicology is “The dose makes the poison”. That means we MUST know the doses and monitor their movements. To do otherwise is irresponsible and unethical.
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    We have dangerous levels of pfas in rivers here in North Carolina. We need safe disposal of PFAs now!
    Like (17)
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    ABSOLUTELY! WHO TRUSTS THIS ADMINISTRATION TO FOLLOW THROUGH??
    Like (15)
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    We need to clean up our environment. This is a step toward that. Our health is at risk.
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    This seems an appropriate measure to pass as we move towards a more environmentally responsible model of decision-making and governing. If corporations can’t find the will to so themselves, government should not hesitate to step in for the greater good.
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    We already know these substances are toxic. We can study the 5,000+ PFAS WHILE we regulate them . We adjust the regulations as we learn more instead of waiting for more harms to manifest before we take action.
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    Water is life Protect it
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    Please protect the environment for our children and grandchildren.
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    With all the deregulations tRump has ordered he doesn't give a rat's ass about this. Oh hell no! He probably wouldn't even take a sip of water from a faucet! Thing were being monitored and companies were being held responsible to clean it up but tRump has seen to it to get rid of those who did their jobs. Yes we need all monitoring in place again! Get rid of trump and the trumpets and get true professional people who care about us and our planet back in charge...period!
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    Yes, there is evidence to support that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans like: low infant birth weights, negative effects on the immune system, cancer, and thyroid hormone dysfunction. Although, we no longer make these dangerous substances in the USA anymore, other countries do & we import their products containing PFAS. “People can also be exposed to PFAS chemicals if they are released during normal use, biodegradation, or disposal of consumer products that contain PFAS. People may be exposed to PFAS used in commercially-treated products to make them stain- and water-repellent or nonstick. These goods include carpets, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging materials, and non-stick cookware.... Drinking water can be a source of exposure in communities where these chemicals have contaminated water supplies.” Once exposed, PFAS accumulates in the body, leading to negative effects on health. Not only should we monitor PFAS levels in land, air & water and develop safety standards, we also need to develop testing to determine human exposure. We need to work on ways to decrease exposure, including denying trade of goods with PFAS.
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