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Commonwealth's Counties

“Forever Chemical” bills pass the House, head to the Senate

Two bills seeking to study and address certain chemical contaminants in Virginia’s drinking water have now passed the House of Delegates and will be heard by the Senate. Both bills attempt to focus on the growing concern over the threats of PFAS chemicals, which is the colloquial term for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These substances, also nicknamed “forever chemicals,” have earned more attention lately, as there is growing concern over their links to various medical ailments.

HB 586 (Guzman) directs the Commissioner of Health to convene a work group to study the occurrence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and other perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the Commonwealth’s public drinking water and to develop recommendations for specific maximum contaminant levels for PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS for inclusion in regulations of the Board of Health applicable to waterworks.  VACo supports HB 586.

The second bill, HB 1257 (Rasoul), directs the State Board of Health to, as deemed necessary by the study initiated by HB 586, adopt regulations establishing maximum contaminant levels in public drinking water systems for (i) PFOS, PFOA, and other PFAS compounds deemed necessary; (ii) chromium-6; and (iii) 1,4-dioxane.

For more information on these bills, please see the previous writeup in Capitol Contact.

Both HB 586 and HB 1257 have been referred to the Senate Education and Health Committee.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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