Landmark bipartisan PFAS Action Act passes House

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to protect all Americans from the harmful “ forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

The PFAS Action Act of 2021 creates a national drinking water standard for select PFAS chemicals, designates PFAS as hazardous substances to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up contaminated sites, limits industrial discharges and provides $200 million annually to assist water utilities and wastewater treatment facilities.

To protect our air, land and water from harmful PFAS contamination, the PFAS Action Act would:

  • Require the EPA to establish a national drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS within two years that protects public health, including the health of vulnerable subpopulations
  • Designate PFOA and PFOS chemicals as hazardous substances within one year and require the EPA to determine whether to list other PFAS within five years
  • Designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous air pollutants within 180 days and require the EPA to determine whether to list other PFAS within five years
  • Require the EPA to place discharge limits on industrial releases of PFAS and provide $200 million annually for wastewater treatment
  • Prohibit unsafe incineration of PFAS wastes and place a moratorium on the introduction of new PFAS into commerce
  • Require comprehensive PFAS health testing
  • Create a voluntary label for PFAS in many products.

More than 320 military sites across the U.S. have PFAS contamination, and more than 200 million Americans may be drinking contaminated water.

“We need deadlines to ensure that the EPA will take the steps needed to reduce PFAS releases into our air, land and water, to filter PFAS out of tap water and to clean up legacy PFAS pollution, especially near Department of Defense facilities,”  said Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president for government affairs. “We applaud Reps. Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton for continuing to make PFAS pollution a priority.”

PFAS are synthetic chemicals that have so far been found in the drinking water of almost 2,800 communities. They are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. PFAS are a large family of fluorinated chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancerreproductive harmimmune system damage and other serious health problems.


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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