House and Senate members failed to agree on language which would require the EPA to set enforceable limits for “forever chemicals” in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations package. The language would have directed the EPA to set maximum contaminant levels (“MCLs”) over the next two years for perfluorooctanoic (“PFOA”) and perfluorooctanoic sulfonic acid (“PFOS”) in drinking water, creating the first federal, legally binding limits for the chemicals. The disagreement occurred over whether a cost-benefit analysis would be required by law in setting the MCL. Republicans sought language to direct the EPA to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the MCL which would introduce industry input and, according to House Democrats, potentially weaken any enforceable standard. Republicans countered claiming that a cross benefit analysis is required for safe drinking water act regulation and that the language is a necessary addendum to any provision setting MCLs for PFOA and PFOS.
For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.