The PFAS Policy Dashboard gives users an overview of state-level legislation addressing PFAS across 50 states from 2016 to 2022 (note: ten states did not introduce any PFAS-related legislation). Use the dashboard as either a sortable, filterable table (“List of Legislation/Law”) or a graphic visualization of legislation across issue areas (“Legislation/Law Counts”). The list view lets you filter by issue type, state, year introduced, year enacted, and law or legislation. These filters can be used individually or in combination. The count view visualizes the number of laws or bills for each issue type, and breaks those down across each state. It further allows you to filter the visualization by issue type, year introduced, or state. In both list and count views, you can download the entire dataset for the dashboard or the dataset for your selected filters.
See the dropdowns below the dashboard for more information on background, methodology, and limitations.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS, have been used and disposed of rather ubiquitously in industrial and common consumer products since the 1940s. But knowledge about existing exposures and pathways of exposure to PFAS, related adverse human health impacts, and interactive or cumulative effects, has been slower and less readily available to regulators, the general public, and lawmakers. Early industry studies demonstrating potential harms from exposure date back to at least the 1970s, but only came to light around 2000 as the result of litigation concerning the impacts of DuPont’s PFAS contamination in and around the West Virginia and Ohio border. That litigation further resulted in landmark settlement funds which were used to support health studies from 2005 to 2013 demonstrating links between PFAS exposure and a number of negative health impacts. During and since that time, the broader body of research on PFAS’s impacts has expanded considerably. So, too, has knowledge about the extent of human exposure, with identification of sites with PFAS contamination across every state in the country.
As states have begun to grapple with PFAS contamination, many have moved forward with regulations and legislation. In our report, Parts Per Trillion: An Overview of State PFAS Drinking Water Standards, we addressed how the early focus at the state level has generally been on drinking water standards. And more recently, we outlined the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed federal drinking water standards as part of the Biden Administration’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.
Following from and alongside that early focus, however, states have begun to address the myriad of related sources, uses, sites, and impacts of PFAS. While this legislation has begun to iterate and proliferate, there has been a lack of a centralized way to identify and begin to analyze all of these efforts. This initial iteration of the PFAS Policy Dashboard includes those state legislative attempts and successes to address PFAS across all 50 states from 2016-2022. The dashboard and the legislation it includes are meant to assist researchers, policymakers, and communities grappling with PFAS. The data provide insights into what facets of PFAS—its many commercial and industrial uses, public health and environmental standards, contamination and remediation across various environmental media, disposal, and related liabilities and responsibilities—are and are not being addressed legislatively. It further provides insight into how each facet is being addressed, what types of legislation have and have not been introduced or enacted, and where they have and have not been introduced or enacted.
State PFAS legislation for the dashboard was initially identified through Legiscan.com. LegiScan is a data service that monitors the status of legislation in all 50 states and at the federal level. The website is the most comprehensive full bill text legislative search engine currently available across all 50 states. Legiscan allows people with free user accounts to search bills dating back to 2013.
To identify legislation for the PFAS Policy Dashboard, three keyword terms were identified: ‘PFAS’, ‘perfluoroalkyl’ and ‘polyfluoroalkyl.’ A total of 150 full text searches were conducted; one for each state and each of the three keywords. The Legiscan results returned any legislation in which the keyword appeared anywhere in the bill text. The earliest bills related to PFAS identified using our methodology were introduced in 2016 (in New York State).
The bills identified through the full text search were then analyzed by Rockefeller Institute researchers for relevancy. To be included in the PFAS Policy Dashboard, the legislation needed to directly reference or address PFAS in the bill’s language or function. Bills that only mentioned PFAS in the memo as part of the broader context or more general justification, for example, were not included. Bills that only related to PFAS because it was in the underlying law being amended were not included. For example, if PFAS was part of an existing list of compounds regulated under that law, the legislation was excluded unless the amendments more directly implicated or impacted PFAS. Bills were also checked in comparison to the state’s legislative website to ensure that the data presented were up to date and reflected accurately given the differences across state legislative websites and the format of Legiscan.
Currently, the database provides all those results for legislation introduced between 2016 and 2022. Further bills introduced in 2023 will be added after the close of this legislative year so that each year included here represents the totality of the results for that year. In total, the database for those years includes over 500 bills and laws (366 and 146, respectively). The table below describes the data points available for each bill and law included in the dashboard and/or in the downloadable data files.
Data Type & Description
State. The state the bill was introduced in.
Legislation or Law. Whether the bill was enacted as a law or remained legislation.
Year Introduced. The year the bill was introduced.
Most Recent Year Active. The most recent year the bill was active or in which some legislation action took place.
If Enacted, Year Enacted. If the bill was enacted, the year it was passed/signed into law.
All Issue Type(s). All of the relevant issue types identified.
Year Introduced Bill Number (Same As, Similar, or Substituted For). The bill number (ex: SB or AB XXXX) for the year the bill was introduced, including any bill numbers substituted for it, “same as” bills in the other legislative house, or those deemed “similar” by the state’s legislative website.
Most Recent Bill Number (Same As, Similar, or Substituted For). The bill number (ex: SB or AB XXXX) for the last year the bill was active, including any bill numbers it was substituted for, “same as” bills in the other legislative house, or those deemed “similar” by the state’s legislative website.
Chapter or Act Number. If enacted, the chapter or act number assigned when it was signed into law.
Description/Notes. If enacted, a brief description of what the bill does, particularly as it pertains to PFAS.
Link to bill or law. The link to the legislation, preferably the state’s own legislative website.
Finally, each bill was read and any relevant “issue types” referring to the topics addressed were assigned to bills. Issue types refer to the focus or aim of the legislation. These include firefighting foam or protective equipment, consumer products, biosolids, remediation, air quality, or emissions. In total, 36 issue types were identified using a grounded approach in the iterative process of reading the bills. A complete list with definitions is listed below. For each bill, as many issue types as were relevant were included. This was done to better facilitate searches by researchers, communities, advocates, and policymakers trying to identify all the relevant bills for a given issue area.
There are a few things for users to keep in mind when considering issue types:
While an analysis of legislation can provide insights into how policymakers are addressing PFAS, there are limitations to keep in mind when using this database to identify and analyze legislative efforts in and across states.
Legislation is of course only one means that states have to address issues related to PFAS. Policymakers can also work through existing laws, regulations, and environmental health programs, promulgate new regulations through agencies, or issue executive actions. Because this database focuses on legislative efforts and does not include other types of actions, it therefore does not reflect the full efforts of each state, but rather the legislative efforts.
States and their respective legislative websites have different degrees to which they link or track the same bill across different years or legislative sessions. The same is true for linking or tracking the Same As (corresponding) or similar bills across different houses of a legislature. Certain states, like New York, have websites that more clearly and consistently link bills in both of these ways across time and legislative bodies, but many states do not. When a state links bill numbers across sessions or legislative bodies, we have combined them here so that it doesn’t appear that they are different bills when they are the same. However, when states don’t link bills in those ways, it can result in the appearance of more bills being introduced in that state (because bills that may actually be the same are being tracked as separate bills). While we found many unlinked bills on state legislative websites that read highly similarly, because even a one word difference may have significant legislative implications, we entered any bills that were not already linked by legislative websites as separate bills in the database. As a result, comparison of total counts of legislations across states is not recommended.
The PFAS Policy Dashboard will be updated annually after the close of the year. We anticipate the inclusion of 2023 legislation at the close of the first quarter of 2024. We also expect that the dashboard will expand to include federal legislation, as well as state and federal regulations over time. Further analysis drawing from the dashboard will also be provided by the Institute’s researchers in the coming months and years, including comparative analysis of legislation across states, more focused policy briefs on particular issue types and their respective legislation, and a consideration of emerging legislative trends. But, we are making the dashboard publicly accessible at this time to encourage other researchers, communities, and policymakers to utilize and analyze the dataset.
Agriculture. Refers to farms, farming, the process of food production, or agricultural land.
Air Quality or Emissions. Refers to either air quality or emissions, related facilities or equipment, or any potential/resultant impacts therefrom.
Animals. Refers to either animals or wildlife, including livestock and smaller organisms.
Appropriations. Refers to the direct appropriation of monies, as well as the establishment, maintenance, or use of funds.
Biosolids. Refers to biosolids, including sludge or sewage sludge, and land-applied biosolids or sludge, as well as compost derived from wastewater treatment facilities.
Children’s Products. Refers to any products used by or intended for children.
Consumer Products. Refers to any products used by or intended for consumers.
Disposal or Incineration. Refers to the disposal or potential disposal methods for PFAS, including incineration.
Drinking Water. Refers to drinking water or their systems, potable water, or any water used for drinking (if groundwater, private wells, or surface water are used as source water these should be listed as additional issue types).
Environmental Justice. Refers to environmental justice.
Federal Government (or Federal Site). Refers to the federal government, including any branch, agency, or institution that it includes, as well as those associated sites if specifically referenced.
Firefighting Foam or Protective Equipment. Refers to the firefighting foam, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), Class B firefighting foam, or protective equipment and gear for firefighters.
Food. Refers to any food item, not including general agricultural production.
Food Packaging. Refers to packaging or packaging components used in direct contact with food, as well as food service ware.
Groundwater. Refers to groundwater regardless of what that water is or is not used for.
Hazardous Substance Designation. Refers to the designation of any PFAS as a hazardous substance under state law, or related regulations.
Hazardous Waste. Refers to hazardous waste or related regulations.
Health Monitoring or Testing. Refers to the testing or monitoring of human health, including the use of blood testing or health screenings, and provisions to provide for such services.
Industrial Products or Production. Refers to any industrial products or production.
Landfills. Refers to landfills or their related features, such as landfill leachate, and their regulation.
Liability. Refers to liability, financial responsibility, or damages.
Monitoring and Detection. Refers to the monitoring, detection, or testing of water and environmental media (including air, soil, etc.)
Oil and Gas. Refers to oil, gas, petroleum, or related production and use.
Packaging. Refers to packaging and packaging components. If referring to food packaging that issue type should be separately listed.
Pesticides. Refers to pesticides, their components, and their containers.
Plastics. Refers to plastics, microplastics, their components, and their use in other products and as waste.
Private Wells. Refers to private wells for drinking water on residential or commercial properties.
Recycling. Refers to recycling, recyclable products, and related labeling.
Remediation. Refers to remediation or mitigation of contamination and contaminated media or sites.
Soil. Refers to soil.
Solid Waste. Refers to solid waste or related regulations.
Statute of Limitations. Refers to the statute of limitations for any causes of action in legal proceedings.
Study or Recommendations. Refers to the production of a study or recommendations, including reports, data and information sharing, or impact analysis.
Surface Water. Refers to surface waters.
Task Force. Refers to a task force, commission, committee, council, response team, or advisory board.
Wastewater. Refers to wastewater.
Data were identified by Rockefeller Institute researchers including Laura Rabinow, deputy director of research, and Teuta Mujaj, undergraduate research assistant. Special thanks to Senior Staff Assistant for Publications Michele Charbonneau for her development of the dashboard.