Update and Action Alert | Statewide Testing for PFAS and New ANR Authority Regarding Chemicals of Concern Advances; Other Chemical Bills Pending Significant Action

This coming week should see relatively little movement on the several chemical bills of concern to Vermont manufacturers and other employers, but this could change quickly in the next week or two.  For additional information and links related to the bills below, click here.

PFAS and Chemicals of Emerging Concern

The most recent development was the House Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife Committee’s passage of an amended version of S.49 and its initial vote scheduled for the House floor this Tuesday and final passage expected Thursday.  S.49 would require extensive and intensive testing of public water systems for five PFAS chemicals, specifically perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, perfluorononanoic acid, and perfluoroheptanoic acid.  The frequency of testing and any treatment and remediation requirements would based on a Vermont Department of Health directed standard of 20 parts per trillion of any one or combination of these PFAS chemicals.  The bill would also require rulemaking for these PFAS chemicals in various water quality regulatory regimes, including the Water Supply Rule.  The bill provides for investigating potential sources for any PFAS contamination.

The bill would also allow ANR to require any entity permitted by the agency to monitor the operation of a facility, discharge, emission, or release for any constituent for which the Department of Health has established a health advisory.  ANR may impose conditions on a permitted entity based on the health advisory if it determines that the operation of the facility, discharge, emission, or release may result in “an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health or the natural environment”.  This authority would last up to two years from the date the health advisory was adopted.

AIV will continue to engage on this issue as the Senate considers House changes to the bill. Members interested in the bill are urged to review the current version and to contact us at info@aivt.org for more information and to learn more about different ways to engage on this bill.

Chemical Liabilities

S.37, imposing strict liability for any harm associated with chemicals and medical monitoring liability for chemical exposures saw continued preliminary testimony last Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee.  AIV is continuing to work with coalition partners to encourage the Committee to drop the strict liability provisions of the bill and amend the medical monitoring provisions to align with the standards in sixteen states that have established guidelines through court precedents, as well as making other moderating changes.  Members interested in the bill are urged to review the current version and to contact us at info@aivt.org for more information and to learn more about different ways to engage on this bill.

To review the version of S.37 as passed by the Senate, click here.

For contact information for the House Judiciary Committee, click here.

To find contact information for your Representative(s), click here.

To contact House Speaker Mitzi Johnson:  (802) 828-2245  |  speaker@leg.state.vt.us

Chemicals in Children’s Products

S.55, which would undermine scientific standards and other important criteria governing the testing, reporting, and potential regulation of chemicals in children’s products, received an initial walk through in the House Human Services Committee last Tuesday, and additional testimony will be taken this coming Thursday.  AIV is continuing to work with coalition partners to encourage the Committee to preserve the existing statutory  language or come up with alternative language that does not eviscerate basic standards of science and credibility.  Of particular concern with the bill in its current version is that it would eliminate any requirement that the Department of Health demonstrate that a product containing a covered chemical poses an actual health threat before it could ban or otherwise regulate it.  Members interested in the bill are urged to review the current version and to contact us at info@aivt.org for more information and to learn more about different ways to engage on this bill.

To review the version of S.55 as passed by the Senate, click here.

For contact information for the House Human Services Committee, click here.

To find contact information for your Representative(s), click here.

To contact House Speaker Mitzi Johnson:  (802) 828-2245  |  speaker@leg.state.vt.us