May 9, 2023 | AD & Biogas, Composting, Contamination, Food Waste, Policies + Regulations

Model Legislation For PFAS Prevention

Top: Photos by Sally Brown

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association, Inc. (NEWMOA) released its Draft PFAS Prevention Model Act in early May to advance reduction of the use of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS. NEWMOA is seeking public comment on the Draft Model Legislation until June 29, 2023, at midnight Eastern. In a press release, NEWMOA explains that the goals of the draft model legislation are to:

  • Reduce/eliminate use of PFAS in consumer products to the extent feasible
  • Identify and implement source reduction programs
  • Ensure that the substitutes for PFAS in products are safer and that there are no regrettable substitutes
  • Coordinate product disclosure, labeling, bans, phase-outs, source reduction, and end-of-life collection on a multi-state basis
  • Help consumers identify products containing PFAS and learn how to properly handle them
  • Provide regulated entities with regulatory certainty

Over the past several months, NEWMOA and a group of state officials from the Northeast (Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have worked together to develop the Draft Model Legislation. The Workgroup reviewed the latest information on PFAS, including exposure pathways to the environment and PFAS’ impacts on public health and the environment, as well as reviewed both existing laws and current legislative proposals to address PFAS in consumer products. Also reviewed were states’ successful experiences with toxics in packaging legislation passed starting in the early 1990s, mercury in production legislation passed starting in the early 2000s, and other bills related to high priority chemicals of concern passed throughout the 2000s.

“The Draft Model Legislation does not necessarily represent the views of individual Workgroup members or the Agencies they represent, nor is NEWMOA taking an official position regarding the legislation,” states the press release. “However, NEWMOA has an overarching goal of the ‘virtual elimination of the environmental releases of PFAS into the environment.’ Therefore, NEWMOA designed this draft model legislation as a comprehensive package of provisions ….to develop more consistent approaches to addressing PFAS and PFAS-containing products.” NEWMOA adds that product manufacturers will also benefit from having more consistent requirements throughout the region and nationally, and notes that the “designers do not view the model as a set of provisions that must all be enacted together or at the same time. The model is designed to present a flexible set of concepts/options from which the jurisdiction policy makers can choose those that meet their jurisdictional priorities. However, it is important that jurisdictions implement their efforts as consistently as possible for each option implemented.”

The Draft Model Legislation can be found at this link.

Sign up