Congress considered adding to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA) controversial language to regulate all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). AGC and industry allies urged policymakers to rely on the science and support the federal agencies in their efforts to research and set protective risk-based standards. PFAS are a large and diverse group of chemicals. The compromise deal between the House (passed Dec. 11) and the Senate (passed Dec. 17) NDAA bills does not include the controversial language, instead opting for less stringent measures that give direction to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Defense to regulate. President Trump is expected to sign the bill before Christmas. However, the PFAS issue will resurface in the coming months.
AGC will continue to work with Congress to help them understand the challenges the construction industry would face with the task of handling all PFAS blanketly in the water and soil on their projects. Treating all PFAS the same, without any regard to science, will lead to unnecessary liability for contractors and result in wide-spread and possibly unnecessary remediation. For this reason, AGC urges that any resultant federal actions address specific types of PFAS, based on science, and take a consistent approach to establish risk-based standards.
For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at firstname.lastname@example.org.