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Washington, D.C. — Today, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, a member of the Water Coalition Against PFAS, applaud the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would provide a statutory shield for water systems under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for PFAS, and help ensure that polluters, not the public, pay for PFAS cleanup. 

Introduced by Reps. John Curtis (R-UT) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA), H.R.7944 is a companion bill to Senate legislation introduced by Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) last year. The bill provides statutory protection for water utilities in light of the upcoming designation of PFOA and PFOS – types of PFAS – as hazardous substances by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under CERCLA. The agency is currently finalizing that rule. A CERCLA designation for PFAS exposes drinking water and wastewater utilities to potential litigation from the manufacturers of PFAS. PFAS users and producers can abuse litigation to reduce their own clean-up costs and increase costs on water utilities – costs that utilities are then forced to pass along to ratepayers.

“CERCLA is intended to hold polluters accountable for the damage they cause to our environment,” said AMWA CEO Tom Dobbins. “But in the case of PFAS, the law could allow those responsible for producing the chemicals to pass off cleanup liability to community water systems that must remove the contaminants from their source waters. AMWA supports the ‘Water Systems PFAS Liability Protection Act’ because it would close this loophole and ensure that polluters — and not innocent water system ratepayers — get the bill for CERCLA cleanups related to PFAS. We urge all members of Congress to support this ‘polluter pays’ legislation.”

Last month, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing titled, “Examining PFAS as Hazardous Substances,” where witnesses documented the impact to water systems and ratepayers of a CERCLA designation due to the pervasiveness of PFAS in the environment. The prevalence of PFAS means that drinking water and wastewater systems, which passively receive these substances into their systems, could face CERCLA cleanup liability due to upstream polluters depositing the chemicals in their water supplies.


The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) has been the unified and definitive voice for the nation's largest publicly owned water systems for over 40 years. AMWA's membership serves more than 160 million people with safe drinking water.

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