PFAS Chemicals a Focus in Biden’s Major Infrastructure Package
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act mentions per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the context of providing federal grants and loans to address these chemicals in drinking water and wastewater discharge. There were no relevant mentions of firefighting foams or aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) in the infrastructure bill as passed in the Senate and provisions on Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or Superfund sites did not include PFAS.
PFAS is, however, addressed in Title VI—Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies of Division J—Appropriations, specifically under State and Tribal Assistance Grants under the Environmental Protection Agency, where $10 billion is dedicated to PFAS remediation. The $10 billion is divided into three portions:
- $5 billion in grants/loans for disadvantaged/underserved communities to address PFAS in drinking water
- $4 billion in grants and loans for Drinking Water State Revolving funds for water utilities to remove PFAS from water; also provides funding for well owners to connect to water systems
- $1 billion for wastewater utilities to address PFAS in wastewater treatment plant effluent
As discussed in our other federal budget stories, the timeline for the bill is still in the air as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) waits for the Senate to pass a more partisan budget reconciliation bill. The federal push to regulate and diminish the use of PFAS across the board continues as more and more states are publishing their own rules or legislation on the class of chemicals. ILTA maintains a working tracker for state legislation on our website, which you can access after logging into your ILTA online account.