NACWA Meets with Congress on PFAS, Further Member Engagement Needed

(August 21, 2019) – NACWA met with key Congressional staff last week regarding pending legislation on PFAS to further educate them on potential unintended consequences of the bill on public clean water utilities.  While the discussion was positive, additional NACWA member advocacy engagement on this issue is critical to ensure Congress understands the perspective of the clean water sector. 

As previously reported, last month the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to address PFAS contamination and associated health risks as part of its 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The U.S. Senate also passed PFAS legislation as part of its version of the 2020 NDAA; however, the House version is more far-reaching and includes proposals that, while intended to protect public health and hold private industry accountable, could have unintended negative impacts on the clean water sector.

NACWA staff has been working to develop a proposed path forward on these proposals and urging Congressional staff to take the concerns of the sector into account as they conference the House and Senate NDAA bills to ensure an appropriate, scientifically justified approach to addressing PFAS.

Last week, NACWA sent an Advocacy Alert to all Association members with an update on PFAS advocacy and call to action with materials, including a template letter to Congress and a template op-ed, your utility can use to engage. NACWA has been coordinating closely with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) on this important effort. 

All NACWA members are asked to please review these materials and consider engaging with your federal elected leaders and local media.  Please contact NACWA’s legislative directors, Kristina Surfus and Jason Isakovic, if you have questions or would like to discuss further.

NACWA is also working to develop additional resources and guidance on PFAS for clean water utilities and will soon be providing these materials to the membership. This is a fast-moving issue and we encourage members to reach out to NACWA staff to discuss further at any time.