On July 21, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the PFAS Action Act of 2011, requiring EPA to establish nationwide drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS, two of the thousands of PFAS compounds. EPA has previously established non-enforceable drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS of 70 ppt.
The bill also requires EPA to designate PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” under CERCLA within a year and determine whether the remaining PFAS compounds should be designated as hazardous substances within 5 years. The bill further requires EPA to list PFOA and PFOS as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) under the Clean Air Act and establish pretreatment standards and effluent limits for the compounds under the Clean Water Act. Other measures in the bill limit industrial discharges of PFAS and restrict incineration of PFAS waste.
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, where an earlier version of the bill had passed in January 2021, but ultimately died. There is currently no Senate version of the bill.