We often say that “PFAS are everywhere…”; we can now finish the sentence with “…even in the proposed American Jobs Plan.”
The proposed Plan, shared by the White House on March 31, 2021, includes an eight-year, $2 trillion investment to modernize and improve U.S. infrastructure, generate jobs and economic growth, and promote American national security interests.
But where are the PFAS?
The Plan incorporates significant goals and objectives for the water industry. It targets the need for upgrading and modernizing America’s drinking water sources, management, and delivery; wastewater and stormwater systems; and supporting clean water infrastructure across rural America.
The Plan calls for $111 billion to update and improve clean water infrastructure, including $45 billion to replace lead pipes and service lines and $56 billion in drinking water grants and low-cost loans to states, Tribes, territories, and disadvantaged communities.
Important to the regulated community, the Plan also incorporates new and emerging contaminants, earmarking $10 billion to monitor and remediate PFAS in drinking water.
That’s where the PFAS are!
This focus and proposed funding to address PFAS contamination are important to the regulated community, because:
- It is an initial and major sign acknowledging that PFAS will be dealt with on a Federal level sooner, rather than later.
- Science will be funded to improve our understanding of the behavior and environmental toxicity of PFAS, and better inform legislation and regulation.
- Federal regulation is likely to designate PFAS as a ‘Hazardous Substance’ clearing the path for regulatory-driven prioritization, site investigation, and clean up.
- Remediation dollars will be spent based on more realistic risk decisions that target true environmental risk and not potential threats based on overly conservative assumptions and faulty toxicity thresholds in the absence of appropriate data.
Technical challenges associated with PFAS risk and remedial decision-making are complex and require multi-disciplined input. Now more than ever you will need an experienced partner to replace the ‘one size fits all’ approach, with a constituent and site-specific strategy focused on true risks if and where they exist.
The inclusion of PFAS in the American Jobs Plan will drive additional scrutiny and study of these compounds. This includes increased focus by state and regulatory agencies, banks, lending institutions, and insurers. In addition, successful mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures will have to consider the timing of the developing regulatory requirements. EHS Support has a multi-disciplined team of PFAS experts who can guide you through the complex decision process and navigate the evolving regulations that may impact your business.
To learn more, contact Ceil Mancini, Senior Scientist at EHS Support.
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