Environment & Energy Report

Senate Defense Bill Makes Radical Changes to PFAS Regulation (1)

June 27, 2019, 6:34 PMUpdated: June 27, 2019, 8:32 PM

Federal agencies will have to significantly change the way they regulate a class of potentially toxic nonstick chemicals if a defense bill that just passed the Senate becomes law.

The Senate’s annual defense authorization bill, S. 1790, passed the chamber on a 86-8 vote on June 27. It includes by far the most sweeping language yet considered by either chamber of Congress to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

These chemicals are used in nonstick coatings, firefighting foams, and some food packaging. They’re especially valuable as a protective coating because of their resistance to breaking down in...

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