Defense Bill with NGWA-supported PFAS Provisions Heads to President’s Desk

The U.S. Senate followed up on quick action by the House of Representatives and passed the National Defense Authorization Act’s (NDAA) conference report on August 1, sending the bill to the White House for signature.

The annual legislation authorizes spending for the U.S. military. The version this year includes a $10 million authorization for the second year of a health study on the impacts of exposure to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The bill is expected to be signed by President Donald J. Trump.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who spoke at the 2018 Water Resources Congressional Summit in March, was the lead in securing the language in this legislation. The National Ground Water Association worked with congressional offices in the House and Senate to highlight the importance of this funding and the need for the health study.

The health study will be conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The NDAA legislation also included language streamlining the process by which ATSDR can access the funds to speed up progress on the study.

If signed and with the funding authorized, the study would be funded through the annual appropriations process. Funding for the study would be included in the FY2019 Defense appropriations bill currently making its way through Congress.

NGWA recently created a PFAS resource center containing information and downloadable materials about PFAS.