New Washington state bill is the “fastest timeline in the nation” for phasing out PFAS

The bill aims to remove “forever chemicals” from many consumer products by 2025.

A new Washington state bill, signed into law last Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee, aims to phase out PFAS in select consumer products by 2025.Other states have taken action as well.

In California, PFAS will be banned in paper food packaging as of 2023.  A Maine law passed last summer will ban the sale of most products containing PFAS by 2030.  In the fight against PFAS, said Berry, states have the most potential to improve regulation. “With federal inaction, we’re the place to geth things done,” she said, “Nothing’s getting done in DC.”

Updated PFAS bill

Berry’s new bill speeds up the timeline for regulation of PFAS from a 2019 bill, which aimed for regulation by 2030. “[The bill] allows the Department of Ecology here in Washington to really expedite action on addressing and managing these chemicals in our state,” said Berry.The original bill that Berry proposed included additional directions for regulation of other priority toxic chemicals such as phthalates and PCBs, in addition to PFAS. However, she said, those components of the bill did not make it into the final legislation because they were blocked in the Senate.Aggressive PFAS phaseout timelineThe bill’s 2025 phaseout deadline makes Washington the first state to tackle PFAS on an accelerated timeline. “I just don’t think that any more time is necessary to make sure people are safe,” said Berry. “We’ve got to keep industry on their toes, make sure they’re being innovative, so that we’re not poisoning people for their products.”Valeriano said the timeline puts pressure on industries in Washington state. However, she said, “I think it’s entirely doable to get there in the next few years.”“It’s just the will and the direction and the regulatory hammer that has to be put in place in order to drive those decisions on a faster timeline,” she said.

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