H.R. 1976

PFAS Detection Act of 2019

Statement for the Record
Department of the Interior
House Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
H.R.1976 - PFAS Detection Act of 2019
June 13, 2019

Thank you for the opportunity to provide a statement on H.R.1976, to require the Director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to perform a nationwide survey of per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and for other purposes.

H.R. 1976 authorizes $45 million over the next 5 years for USGS activities. The bill directs the USGS to collaborate with appropriate Federal and State regulators; institutions of higher education; research institutions; and other expert stakeholders to: establish a scientifically-based method to detect PFAS present in the environment; carry out a nationwide sampling to determine the concentration of PFAS; prepare and submit to Congress a report describing the results of the nationwide sampling within 90 days after the completion of the sampling; and provide those results to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other stakeholders. Finally, the bill requires that the sampling data provided by USGS activities be used to inform and enhance assessments of exposure, likely health and environmental impacts, and remediation priorities.

Through its past and ongoing research into PFAS and other contaminants, the USGS has the scientific and technical capabilities to fulfill the obligations prescribed under this bill. The USGS notes that a 90 day deadline to complete an analysis of the sampling and a report on the results would be difficult to meet. USGS data review and approval requirements to ensure the quality of the PFAS results could take four to six months.  The Department would be happy to work with the Committee to provide additional information and technical amendments.  



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