July 24, 2019
Dear State Attorneys General:
We, the undersigned associations, write to you regarding provisions in S. 1790 and H.R. 2500, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020,” addressing the regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
As the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives begin their conference deliberations, we urge you to voice support for those provisions that would lead to more expeditious cleanup at potentially contaminated sites, and oppose those provisions that would circumnavigate existing, well-established regulatory processes and predetermine outcomes using inadequate scientific data.
We support appropriate risk-based and transparent federal regulation of specific PFAS chemistries when based on sound science and data. Such regulation is important to all stakeholders to provide clarity and should be based on the following principles:
The Federal Government Should Implement a Consistent Approach for Assessing and Regulating Specific PFAS with Clear Timelines.
The appropriate interagency processes should be used to coordinate regulatory actions among all interested agencies and program offices so that government regulations, actions, and communications are consistent and coordinated for maximum effectiveness.
Clear timelines would ensure policy decisions and regulatory outcomes are completed in a transparent manner, with adequate opportunity for stakeholder input.
Regulation Should be Based on Sound Science.
Any regulatory action addressing PFAS chemistries should be based on sound science and a transparent and well-informed record. Agencies should identify sources of uncertainty, and regulations should remain flexible to accommodate emerging science.
Specific PFAS Should be Regulated Based on Risk to Human Health and the Environment.
A risk-based approach focuses resources on the highest priorities based on actual environmental, health, and safety risk of particular chemistries, not just the mere presence of a substance.
Regulatory Outcomes Should Not be Predetermined.
Regulatory decisions should be made using existing regulatory frameworks, which have been developed carefully over time to assure that, in the course of regulating, all relevant public policy goals are considered.
It is Inappropriate to Regulate PFAS Chemistries as a Single Class.
PFAS have a wide variety of physical and chemical properties, uses, and toxicities. Due to the wide variation amongst PFAS, it is inappropriate to regulate all PFAS chemistries as a single group. Instead, agencies should identify potential ways to prioritize substances, or groups of substances, which may require greater scrutiny based on hazard and exposure profiles.
Agencies Should Provide Risk Communication and Regulatory Transparency.
Through risk communication, agencies should ensure that the public can easily understand any
potential risks, which includes hazard and exposure, associated with a specific PFAS. This
includes transparent and candid discussions regarding the processes associated with evaluating
those chemicals as well as any scientific uncertainties in those analyses.
Congress Should Provide Regulatory Agencies with the Proper Oversight and Funding Necessary to Evaluate and Address Specific Priority PFAS.
Congress should provide oversight to assure a coordinated and timely government response and
must appropriate the funding necessary to invest in sound scientific research and the
management, mitigation, and ongoing monitoring of specific PFAS.
We recognize that you have before you a letter requesting you to support certain provisions in
H.R. 2500 regarding PFAS regulation for inclusion in the final National Defense Authorization
Act; however, certain of these provisions contravene the principles outlined above. We urge you
not to sign on to this letter and, instead, maintain that federal regulation of PFAS should be riskbased
and transparent, and rely upon sound science and data regarding specific PFAS.
We look forward to working with you on this important matter.
Airlines for America
Airports Council International – North America
American Chemistry Council
American Forest & Paper Association
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
American Petroleum Institute
Flexible Packaging Association
International Liquid Terminals Association
Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates
U.S. Chamber of Commerce