Coalition Letter on PFAS in the FY21 NDAA

Friday, October 2, 2020 - 9:45am

Dear Chairmen Inhofe and Smith, and Ranking Members Reed and Thornberry:

            The undersigned organizations have a strong interest in ensuring the safety of our companies’ employees and the communities in which we operate. Our coalition is committed to working with regulators, Members of Congress, and interested stakeholders to establish standards that protect human health and the environment through the risk-based approach ensconced in long-standing U.S. environmental law and policy. Several PFAS-related provisions contained in the House version of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) are contrary to these principles and fail to recognize the broad-based and bipartisan PFAS programs from the FY20 NDAA that the Department of Defense (DoD) is in the process of implementing.

            We urge you to reject the following language in the House bill:

  • Section 331 would impose blanket and arbitrary bans on procurement of PFAS-containing products by DoD not related to adverse impacts on health, national security, and military readiness.
    • Such a prohibition has not been the subject of a hearing and could impede procurement programs, including both current and future programs of record, increasing risk for our warfighters (e.g., personal care, medical devises, and food packages).
    • This arbitrary ban also does not distinguish between and among the many different PFAS chemicals that may be affected, completely ignoring a sound, scientific, risk-based approach to any PFAS regulation.
  • Section 1772 would make significant changes to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program—effectively eliminating the TRI program’s long-standing exemptions, including the de minimis threshold that ensures chemical substance quantification is practical and compliance is feasible.
    • Preemptively removing these exemptions for PFAS chemicals circumvents the scientific and regulatory review processes, already underway as EPA initiated a rulemaking in December 2019 to consider on adding certain PFAS substances to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and the Pollution Prevention Act.
    • EPA is still implementing the FY 20 NDAA TRI provisions and has ample regulatory authority under existing law to review and expand its review of PFAS, if EPA finds it necessary using sound, risk-based science.

            We stand ready to work with you to ensure a firm policy foundation for the timely cleanup of PFAS and again urge that these provisions are dropped from the final NDAA package.

Sincerely,

 

American Chemistry Council

American Coatings Association

American Forest and Paper Association

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

Associated General Contractors of America

American Petroleum Institute

National Association for Surface Finishing

Plastics Industry Association

PRINTING United Alliance

Single Ply Roofing Industry

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

cc: Members of the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services