Levin Legislation to Ensure that PFAS Materials Are Safely Eliminated Passes House

July 12, 2019
Press Release
An amendment authored by Congressman Andy Levin to the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure environmentally safe disposal of PFAS passed the House today.

Legislation authored by Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) and co-sponsored by Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) that would ensure the safe elimination of PFAS chemicals today passed in the House of Representatives. The legislation was an amendment made to the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed 220-197.

“Our military is storing and planning to destroy millions of gallons of materials that contain PFAS, a class of chemicals that contaminate drinking water and have been linked to serious health problems,” Congressman Andy Levin said. “These materials need to be destroyed, but it must be done in a way that does not introduce more harmful chemicals into the air we breathe or the water we drink. The legislation we passed today creates important guardrails for the storage, management of byproducts, and use of appropriate facilities for the disposal of PFAS chemicals to protect the health of our communities and the environment.

“The House has taken a crucial step toward protecting Americans from further exposure to this class of dangerous ‘forever chemicals,’” said Brian Siu, Director of Federal Affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “PFAS do not break down easily and already lurk in our drinking waters at unsafe levels. Ultimately, we need to find the safest ways to dispose of them.”

Congressman Levin’s amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to ensure that all incineration of materials containing PFAS is conducted in a manner that eliminates PFAS while  ensuring that no PFAS is emitted into the air; that all incineration is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act; that materials containing PFAS and designated for disposal are stored safely; and that no incineration is conducted at any facility that violated the requirements of the Clean Air Act during the year preceding the date of disposal.

Congressman Levin is also a cosponsor of an amendment led by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) to protect service members from exposure to PFAS chemicals in food provided by the military. He is also an original cosponsor of legislation sponsored by Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) to ensure that veterans and their families exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals at military installations get the health care services and benefits they need through the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Congressman Levin is a member of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force.