House Passes 2022 National Defense Authorization Act

Many environmental provisions were kept including chemical cleanup, toxics, and climate change resilience and preparedness.

According to E&E News, the House passed 363-70 the final fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act last night.

House and Senate negotiators worked for weeks to develop the nearly $800 billion compromise. And even though the Senate delayed taking up its version, which then stalled, negotiators bypassed that process to make sure the bill passes before the end of the year. Many environmental provisions made the cut, including related to chemical cleanup, toxics, and climate change resilience and preparedness.

“This year’s agreement continues the Armed Services Committees’ 61-year tradition of working together to support our troops and strengthen national security,” said leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee.

Bypassing the Senate means lawmakers there didn’t get votes on several controversial amendments, including to impose new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. The final bill includes none.

Because the final product is not the product of a conference committee, lawmakers may seek to amend it. However, that’s not something Democratic or Republican leaders are expected to allow.

“Any changes or additions to the text will likely cause the bill to fail in the House or Senate,” said House Armed Services ranking member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). “That would be a disaster for our service members and their families.”

PFAS

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) saw language included to codify an existing military task force working to improve per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances testing and cleanups at military installations.

Shaheen’s language would also set a two-year deadline for the Department of Defense to assess all sites for contamination, and would require the department to report on the status of cleanup at 50 high-priority PFAS sites across the country (E&E DailyJuly 23).

PFAS, a family of chemicals with some linked to harmful health effects like cancers, has long been used in military firefighting foam. Shaheen, and a host of other lawmakers, have repeatedly used the NDAA process to address concerns.

Also in the bill is modified language from Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) to require the Air Force to submit a report on the branch’s actions around acquiring and remediating PFAS-contaminated properties (E&E DailyNov. 29).

Read More

What’s in and what’s out of final defense bill

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