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Commonwealth's Counties

PFAS Testing Bill Amended in VACo’s Favor Sent to the Governor

HB 1085 (Rasoul) and SB 243 (McPike), as introduced, would have required municipal wastewater and drinking water plants to monitor PFAS (also known as “forever chemicals”) levels in effluent, influent, and biosolids at least quarterly and report all such data on an applicable discharge monitoring report required by federal regulations. VACo initially opposed the bills as they would mandate the very expensive monitoring rather than a focus on PFAS emitting sources to the plants or any targeting to minimize burden.

During HB 1085’s journey through the House, a more favorable PFAS bill (HB 245 (Bulova)) was incorporated into HB 1085 and the legislation was subsequently substituted.  Currently, HB 1085 as a substitute, is more favorable legislation for localities. The substitute removes the mandatory testing of local drinking water facilities to be done by the locality and would put the onus on state and relevant agencies to test for PFAS. If the tests reveal PFAS levels that are above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level, then the Department of Environmental Quality would develop and implement a plan to identify and assess the significant sources of PFAS in the water system. The bill also creates the PFAS Expert Advisory Committee. The Committee is tasked with assisting the Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Health in identifying PFAS sources through PFAS assessments, associated monitoring and reporting, public and private lab testing capacity and identifying options for reducing PFAS in source waters.

SB 243 would follow a similar path and be substituted through its journey in the Senate to make it identical to HB 1085. Both bills have passed through the legislature unanimously and are headed to the Governor’s office.  VACo thanks Delegate Rasoul and Senator McPike for hearing our concerns, working with us and offering the substitute bills.

VACo Contact: James Hutzler


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