House of Representatives approves PFAS amendments

July 12, 2019

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a series of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 on July 11 to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

One amendment from Representative Chris Pappas (D-New Hampshire) would require more scrutiny of PFAS from the Clean Water Act. Another amendment from Pappas would create an online clearinghouse to the public on the health effects of PFAS.

The list of PFAS amendments that passed the House include:

  • An amendment by Representative Madeleine Dean (D-Pennsylvania) to provide $5 million for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nationwide PFAS study. Another amendment by Dean would end the use of fluorine firefighting foam by 2025.
  • An amendment by Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) that would prohibit the use of PFAS in meals-ready-to-eat packaging.
  • Another Dingell amendment that would require the Department of Defense to work with states in mitigating PFAS contamination.
  • An amendment by Representative Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) to require the Government Accountability Office to conduct studies on PFAS contamination in and around military bases.
  • Another Kildee amendment that would authorize $5 million to a five-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor PFAS contamination nationwide.
  • An amendment by Representative Mike Levin (D-California) that would require the DOD to dispose of PFAS in a way that prevents the chemicals from escaping into the air.
  • An amendment by Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio) to require DOD to share information on PFAS monitoring data with local municipalities.

A potential veto threat from President Donald Trump would negate the amendments. The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 includes many of the same amendments and passed in June. The House vote could happen soon.