Include Funding for Treatment of PFAS in Wastewater and Stormwater in Major Infrastructure Packages
Please reach out to your Members of Congress to urge strong support for funding in the proposed infrastructure package to help wastewater and stormwater treatment systems conform to expected federal industrial pretreatment and effluent limitations regulations of PFAS. Because PFAS is in our environment and water systems due to industrial, military, post-consumer products, and manufacturing sources, urge Congress to protect utilities and ratepayers from the costs and legal liabilities of PFAS cleanup.
First and foremost, source control of PFAS is the most effective and cost-effective solution to removing PFAS from our communities and environment. Based on science and sound policy, federal regulations – such as the Toxic Substances Control Act, Clean Water Act industrial pretreatment standards, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act -- should be the mechanisms to remove PFAS from our environment before it ever enters our water systems. Burdening local ratepayers with the high cost of removing PFAS already present in water systems would be unfair and inequitable.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that America’s water and wastewater infrastructure requires nearly $750 billion worth of investment over the next 20 years just to maintain current levels of service; independent estimates place this figure over $1 trillion. Aging infrastructure replacement needs and required system upgrades to meet federal regulatory compliance obligations account for much of the investment gap. Ratepayers primarily will be the ones to fund repairs, maintenances, and upgrades to existing water infrastructure. Adding the cost of removing PFAS from wastewater treatment systems will be far too much financial burden.
While most in the wastewater sector applaud the Administration’s American Jobs Plan, we would like to encourage Members of Congress and the Administration to consider specifying treatment of PFAS in wastewater – not just drinking water – as a part of the allotted $10 billion in the plan or any subsequent infrastructure funding package passed by Congress. H.R. 1915, the Water Quality Protection & Jobs Creation Act of 2021, which was recently passed by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, includes $1 billion over 5 years to help wastewater utilities comply with any federal effluent limitations or pretreatment regulatory obligations.
As Congress works to develop an infrastructure bill, please request that federal funding for the removal of PFAS at wastewater utilities to protect public health and the environment be included.