White House throws support behind House bill aimed at tackling 'forever chemicals'

White House throws support behind House bill aimed at tackling 'forever chemicals'
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The White House is throwing its support behind a House bill, slated for a vote this week, aimed at tackling a class of toxic chemicals. 

In a statement, the Office of Management and Budget said that it backs the legislation tackling releases of PFAS chemicals, some of which have been linked to health hazards. 

“Aggressive efforts to analyze the impact of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (‘PFAS’) on human health and the environment are necessary to meet the challenges associated with developing regulations to reduce exposure to these substances and improve public health,” the statement said.

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The bill, put forth by Michigan Reps. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel Mercedes-Benz going all-electric by 2025 Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — West Coast wildfires drive East Coast air quality alerts MORE (D) and Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — West Coast wildfires drive East Coast air quality alerts OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Western wildfires prompt evacuations in California, Oregon| House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Granholm announces new building energy codes House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water MORE (R), would require the establishment of a national drinking water standard for two types of PFAS called PFOA and PFOS.

It would also designate PFOA and PFOS as both hazardous substances and hazardous air pollutants and require the Environmental Protection Agency to decide whether other types of PFAS should be listed as well. 

And it would require the agency to limit industrial PFAS discharges. 

Types of PFAS chemicals have been linked to health issues such as cancer and immune system problems. They’re sometimes called “forever chemicals” because of their persistence in both the environment and the human body. 

Last year, a similar bill passed the House but was not taken up by the Senate. This year’s bill does not currently appear to have a Senate companion.