House lawmakers seek PFAS exemption for water systems

By Ellie Borst | 04/16/2024 06:25 AM EDT

Bipartisan House legislation would protect water utilities from the imminent Superfund rule on “forever chemicals.”

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah).

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) is sponsoring legislation to shield water providers from liability under EPA chemicals rulemaking. Francis Chung/POLITICO

As EPA draws closer to releasing a final rule that would designate certain “forever chemicals” as hazardous substances under the federal Superfund law, efforts to exempt certain “passive receivers” are gaining momentum in the House.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.) introduced H.R. 7944, a bill that would carve out protections for water and wastewater systems.

It is a companion bill to a much broader legislative package introduced by Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) last year. That package offers exemptions for water systems, as well as agriculture, airports, fire suppression users and waste managers.


On Friday, the White House advanced EPA’s rule that would designate PFOA and PFOS — two of the most notorious substances within the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — as hazardous substances under the Superfund law, meaning EPA could release the final rule any day now.