-Abby Blocker
March 11, 2021

NWRA State Update: PFAS Legislation is Being Tracked by NWRA’s Oklahoma Chapter

The Oklahoma chapter of the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) is following Senate Bill 622 sponsored by Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow) and coauthored by Rep. Carl Newton (R-Cherokee). This bill relates to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are a group of man-made chemicals that includes perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, GenX and many other chemicals. Specifically, Senate Bill 622 would create the Oklahoma PFAS Waste Act. This bill was approved by the Committee on Energy on February 18. There were two Nay votes including Sens. Mary Boren (D-Norman) and Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City), and 10 Aye votes including Sens. David Bullard (R-Durant), Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville), Darcy Jech (R-Kingfisher), Casey Murdock (R-Felt), Marty Quinn (R-Claremore), David Rader (R-Tulsa), Rob Standridge (R-Norman), Zack Taylor (R-Seminole), Mark Allen (R-Spiro) and Kim David (R-Porter).

SB 622: An Act relating to environment and natural resources; creating the Oklahoma PFAS Waste Act; defining terms; requiring promulgation of rules and regulations by Department of Environmental Quality on PFAS waste; specifying content of certain rules; establishing certain liability for PFAS waste generators; construing clause; requiring application and authorization for certain activities; authorizing Department to authorize certain activities; providing for certain classification of PFAS waste; providing for codification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.

NWRA Oklahoma chapter lobbyist Tom Rogers met with Scott Thompson, executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in February to discuss the proposed PFAS legislation. The chapter is currently working internally to prepare amendments for presentation to state legislatures and the director of the DEQ.