On October 20, 2021, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on “Evaluating the Federal Response to the Persistence and Impacts of PFAS Chemicals on our Environment.” The sole witness called before the Committee was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, Radhika Fox. The focus of the hearing was to address the recently released EPA Strategic Roadmap for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). More information on EPA’s Strategic Roadmap is available in our October 19, 2021, memorandum. More than half of the Committee members were present for the hearing, each relaying an experience that either they or members of their communities have had with PFAS. The line of questions posed by the Committee members focused on five main concerns: liability for airport facilities that have used and continue to use PFAS in firefighting operations; the need to set a federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standard for PFAS; how EPA will work with states and tribes in addressing PFAS moving forward; the repeal of the Clean Water Act (CWA) Navigable Waters Protection Rule and its replacement with the pre-2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule; and the need to pass both the Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Bill to assist EPA with funding to address PFAS. For more information, please read the full memorandum.
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