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OCTC Weighs in on Federal PFAS Action Act

The Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC) recently reached out to Ohio's congressional delegation to encourage them to oppose H.R. 2467, the PFAS Action Act.  OCTC supports a comprehensive approach to managing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that protects human health and the environment. Unfortunately, this legislation is duplicative and, at times, circumvents the ongoing science-based regulatory process.

Many of the provisions of the PFAS Action Act, such as drinking water standards, effluent limitation guidelines, disposal and destruction guidelines, and comprehensive testing are already underway or are listed on the 2021 regulatory agenda at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine recently concluded comprehensive statewide testing of Ohio’s public water systems for six chemicals within the PFAS family. That study found that only two out of 1,550 water systems in the state had PFAS levels above the state’s action level, and remediation of those systems is already underway.

Other provisions in H.R. 2467, such as hazardous air pollutant (HAP) designation for PFOA and PFOS, are unnecessary because these substances are no longer in use. Manufacturing of these legacy substances has been voluntarily phased out in the U.S. and their import is no longer permitted.

In addition to the EPA, the Department of Defense (DoD) is taking action to remediate any of their properties that may have potentially released PFAS. The DoD has reviewed more than 600 of their installations and found that 108 may have used PFAS or released it and DoD is following statutory guidelines under CERCLA to address these issues. Furthermore, Congress has added to the regulatory efforts through the FY2020 and FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Today, many PFAS are essential to modern life and an important enabling technology. PFAS play a vital role in everything from designing automobiles with lower emissions and improved safety, reliability and fuel-efficiency to manufacturing semiconductors, solar panels and high- performance electronics. Multiple other industries depend on high-performance PFAS including aerospace, alternative energy (solar, wind), battery storage, healthcare, building and construction, electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, just to name a few. Other critical uses of this technology are important for our society’s broader sustainability objectives, including support for alternative energy and greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

OCTC supports the current actions being undertaken by both the federal and state government that
demonstrate an ongoing, comprehensive plan for PFAS. However, H.R. 2467 would not add to the current activities in a productive way.

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