Today, the House passed the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Included in the bill were important amendments related to addressing PFAS contamination. Earthjustice supported two amendments from Reps. Chris Pappas (NH-01) and Andy Levin (MI-09).
The Pappas amendment would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish water criteria and establish effluent limitation guidelines for specific industrial sources, helping protect communities and our nation’s waterways from industrial discharges of PFAS by stopping pollution at the source. PFAS have contaminated the drinking water of millions of Americans across the country, and polluters are actively dumping its waste into water supplies. This amendment is an important step in holding polluters accountable for their PFAS waste and limiting PFAS discharges into surface waters.
The Levin amendment would direct the Department of Defense (DOD) to report to Congress on its progress of implementing PFAS destruction technologies aside from incineration while also extending the incineration moratorium. DOD has illegally incinerated millions of tons of toxic PFAS waste, violated the requirements of the 2020 NDAA, and have placed communities near incinerators at great risk of harm. Although DOD has temporarily stopped incinerating certain types of PFAS-containing waste due to a moratorium in the FY2022 NDAA, this extension will ensure that the Department takes the time needed to consider other disposal options and does not place communities and the environment at risk by resuming its unsafe PFAS incineration.
After the NDAA vote, Earthjustice Legislative Counsel Christine Santillana issued the following statement:
“We commend the House of Representatives for recognizing the threat PFAS poses to our air, water, and human health and including PFAS amendments in the NDAA. For too long, industrial polluters have discharged PFAS into our nation’s waterways with impunity while entities like the Department of Defense have recklessly incinerated PFAS and put nearby communities at risk. These amendments recognize that we must hold polluters accountable for their actions, and we thank PFAS champions like Rep. Pappas and Rep. Levin for their work in keeping our communities safe. Everyone deserves the right to breathe air and drink water free from PFAS contamination, and we will continue working to get these amendments included in the final NDAA.”