The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) addresses PFAS in several ways. Sections 330 and 334 incentivize developers to create and promote additional alternative firefighting foam to replace the PFAS-containing aqueous film-forming foam.
Section 332 establishes an interagency body on PFAS research and development. The interagency group will have representatives from at least 19 different agencies. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy will Co-Chairs the group with a representative from another member agency, which will change on a biannual rotating basis. Goals of the organization will be:
- Removal of PFAS from the environment,
- Safe destruction or degradation of PFAS,
- Development of safer and environmentally friendly alternatives to PFAS,
- Understanding sources of environmental PFAS contamination and exposure, and
- Understanding the toxicity of PFAS to humans and animals.
Section 333 states that the “Department of Defense may not procure any covered item that contains perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).” ”Covered items” is limited to nonstick cookware and utensils, and fabrics that have been treated with stain-resistant coatings. This section does not take effect until April 1, 2023.
Section 335 requires providing notification to agricultural operations located in areas exposed to department of defense PFAS use. Any agricultural operation within 1 mile of a military or National Guard facility where PFAS has been detected in the ground water, drinking water, or well water must be notified. Notification must occur within 60 days of the enactment of the NDAA. Notification of any updated testing results must occur within 15 days after validated test results are received.
The NDAA was passed by Congress on December 11, 2020.