U.S. House passes PFAS Action Act Despite objections raised by AWWA and other organizations representing the water sector and local government, the U.S. House of Representatives this week passed H.R. 2467 , the PFAS Action Act, on a 241-183 vote. The objecting organizations said that while they also wanted to reduce the prevalence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment, the bill would put water utilities and their customers on the hook for paying for PFAS cleanups even though the water systems were not the sources of PFAS contamination. In addition, the bill would bypass the science and data-driven processes for determining drinking water and wastewater regulations. While voting was largely along party lines, 23 Republicans also voted for the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate. There is no comparable legislation in motion there, but several senators from both parties have indicated interest in addressing PFAS. Similar legislation died in the Senate during the previous session. Earlier in the week, AWWA and many of the same groups urged the House Committee on Rules to approve a proposed amendment that would exempt water systems from PFAS cleanup liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, also known as Superfund, just as airports are exempted. The exemption is sought because water systems are not the sources of PFAS pollution. The House was scheduled to begin floor debate on H.R. 2467 this week. EPA puts PFAS on Fifth Contaminant Candidate List The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its Draft Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL5), and among those are PFAS. The CCL is a list of substances for which the agency is proposing to collect data and evaluate whether national regulations for them are warranted. EPA is accepting public comment on the list until Sept. 17. Instructions for submitting comments are available in the Federal Register . This list includes several chemicals and microbes that have appeared on earlier CCLs. Among those contaminants included are the following: PFAS as a broadly defined group (currently EPA describes this group so that it contains thousands of individual chemicals); Twenty-three named disinfection byproducts, including previously listed nitrosamines, chlorate and formaldehyde, but now including nitrosodibutylamine, two haloacetonitriles, three halonitromethanes and six iodinated trihalomethanes; Named cyanotoxins that are consistent with those listed in previous CCLs but now open to potentially other cyanotoxins; Mycobacterium abscessus in addition to previously listed Mycobacterium avium , plus a new listing for Pseudomonas aeruginosa ; and Lithium. Water utilities should prepare for questions from customers and news media regarding possible occurrence of the listed contaminants and the state of existing water treatment for them. AWWA urges action on cyber threats AWWA told a U.S. Senate committee in written testimony this week that the water sector needs improved cyber threat information and additional resources to help combat cyber attacks on the nation’s water infrastructures. The association called for increased collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, EPA and the water sector to help improve the usefulness of the advisories that the sector receives from federal authorities. The comments were submitted for the record of a hearing titled, “Addressing Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Facing our Nation’s Physical Infrastructure.” While other infrastructure sectors were addressed to some degree in the hearing, most of the testimony and discussion focused on threats to water. Some of the questioning by senators highlighted the lack of cybersecurity training required in operator training and the lack of cyber protection regulation overall for the water sector. Some expressed skepticism of voluntary cyber protection measures, calling for mandatory regulations. John Sullivan, chief engineer for the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, described for the panel measures the water sector was taking to protect itself, such as managing the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center and accessing AWWA’s cyber tools. He said many utilities were implementing best practices to protect against cyber threats but that the sector was large and diverse and there was room for improvement. Sullivan was testifying on behalf of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. He is also a longtime member of AWWA’s Water Utility Council. AWWA speaks out at LCRR Stakeholder Roundtable AWWA was among approximately 30 associations, advocates and other stakeholders who provided their opinions on the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) during a July 21 LCRR Stakeholder Roundtable hosted by the EPA. The four-hour session was divided into three parts: Identifying Lead in Drinking Water, Addressing Lead in Drinking Water, and Communications and Public Outreach. A video of the roundtable is available on YouTube . Webinar to focus on stormwater infrastructure financing EPA’s Water Finance Center will host the second in a series of webinars on approaches for funding and financing stormwater infrastructure at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday. The 60-minute webinar will highlight equity considerations in stormwater infrastructure funding and financing. Space is limited, so advanced registration is recommended. Speakers will include representatives from the New York Environmental Facilities Corporation, the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland, Moonshot Missions and Greenprint Partners. There will be time to ask the speakers questions. Transformative Issues Virtual Symposium starts Aug. 12 AWWA’s Transformative Issues Virtual Symposium consists of three webinars about equity and access designed to help utilities succeed in an environment where businesses, including water utilities, are under increased scrutiny through an environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk lens. The three webinars are: Advancing Affordability and Access , Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. MT Deliver the Message Where it Matters: Strengthening Public Trust Through Targeted Communications , Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. MT Resilient Water Resources Management , Aug. 17 at 11 a.m. MT Each webinar costs $75 or $180 for all three. Participants receive a 20% discount for registering for the full, three-part series and can view recordings afterward.