Final Version of Water Bill Puts Pork Ahead of PFAS Pollution

WASHINGTON – A House-Senate conference committee approved a final version of the Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA, for 2020, which both houses will vote on before it goes to the White House for President Trump’s signature or veto.

Here is the statement of Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, on the failure to include WRDA provisions concerning the toxic fluorinated “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

The PFAS pollution crisis is a public health emergency. More than 200 million people are likely drinking water polluted with PFAS. But the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 fails to set deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate industrial discharges of PFAS and does not even require the Army Corps of Engineers to address PFAS contamination at the Army Corps’ own facilities.

Legislators could agree on one thing, however – the need to spend even more tax dollars on questionable water projects. At a time when studies show the PFAS building up in our blood reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, some legislators have once again demonstrated their misplaced priorities.

By contrast, President-elect Biden has pledged to make the PFAS pollution crisis a top priority. Biden has pledged to designate PFOA and PFOS, the most notorious PFAS chemicals, as hazardous substances under the federal Superfund law, which will accelerate the cleanup process at military bases and ensure that polluters pay their fair share of cleanup costs. He has also pledged to end the use of PFAS in many everyday consumer products and to quickly establish a national drinking water standard for PFAS in tap water.

For more information on industrial discharges of PFAS pollution, click here.


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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