EPA Releases PFAS Roadmap, Outlining Various Initiatives, Strategy, and Expected Rulemaking

After releasing a flurry of press releases and developments on PFAS regulation, on October 18, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator announced an ambitious national strategy to address PFAS over the next three years. Dubbed a “roadmap,” the EPA says that it is centered on three guiding strategies focused on research, restrictions, and remediation: “Increase investments in research, leverage authorities to take action now to restrict PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment, and accelerate the cleanup of PFAS contamination.” North Carolina’s governor …

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California Signs New PFAS Laws Regulating Children’s Products and Food Packaging

On October 5, 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two laws further restricting the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Often referred to as “forever chemicals,” California will now ban such compounds in many children’s products and in disposable food packaging.

One of California’s new PFAS laws (AB 652) will bar the use of PFAS in the manufacture of children’s products, including car seats, pillows, bassinets, changing pads, playmats, bouncers, walkers, strollers, and cribs. On and after July 1, 2023, this law prohibits a …

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Georgia PFAS Decision Differentiates Categories of Defendants against Whom Claims May Proceed

Dalton, Georgia, which has been dubbed the “Carpet Capital of the World” has found itself at the center of emerging PFAS litigation. On September 20, 2021, Judge Amy Totenberg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued a 180-page order ruling on 12 motions to dismiss, on various grounds, filed by numerous defendants in the current litigation.

By way of background, in 2019, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of citizens and property owners in Georgia, alleging that Dalton’s …

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PFAS Alert: New U.S. EPA Effluent Guidelines Program to take on PFAS

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepares Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plans pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 1251, more commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The purpose of these plans is to give an overview of the EPA’s Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG), or national standards for wastewater discharges to surface waters and municipal sewage treatment plants. The plans identify industrial categories, existing or new, which have been chosen for ELG regulation, and set forth the expected scope of that regulation.

On September 8, …

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Maine Enacts Groundbreaking, Strict PFAS Law to Take Effect in January 2023

On July 15, 2021, Maine became the first state to ban per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from most products by the year 2030. Under the law, PFAS means “substances that include any member of the class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom”—a class of thousands of chemicals.

Maine’s new law titled “An Act to Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution,” sponsored by Representative Gramlich, was adopted by the Maine legislature as an emergency measure (which does not require the …

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Dairy Milk, Farms, and PFAS—Issues Recently Highlighted in Hearing Before SAAS

Dairy farmers—particularly in Maine, but in the Midwest as well—have recently made headlines because of alleged PFAS contamination on farms and in dairy milk. The U.S. senators from Maine are bringing to light farm contamination in their states, and it is likely to gain traction in other agriculture-heavy jurisdictions, particularly the Midwest.

“Over the past several years, we have seen family farms in Maine affected by PFAS. In 2016, a dairy farmer in Arundel, Maine, discovered that the milk produced on his farm contains some …

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ATSDR Releases Final Guidance on Perfluoroalkyls

As promised in our November 2018 blog post, “ATSDR PFAS Update: No Final Report Yet, But Further Guidance on Minimal Risk Levels and Drinking Water Concentrations,” we are providing an update on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s recent release of its final Toxicological Profile for Perfluoroalkyls (Tox. Profile). This represents the ATSDR’s final guidance on these substances.

The purpose of the toxicological profile is to “succinctly characterize[] the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for these toxic substances…,” which are developed under …

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A Second Bite at the PFAS: House of Representatives Passes PFAS Action Act of 2021; Similar to Act Passed in 2020

Recently, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill—the PFAS Action Act of 2021—that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin regulating perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water.

The legislation would require the EPA to establish a national drinking water standard within two years for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroactanesulfonic acid (PFOS)—the two most scrutinized PFAS chemicals. Currently, the EPA has a voluntary guidance level of 70 parts per trillion for both PFOA and PFOS combined.

The bill requires …

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water coming out of a pipe

Illinois EPA Joins Growing List of States Issuing PFAS Health Advisories

Illinois has joined a growing list of states seeking to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and compounds. On January 28, 2021, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced four “health advisories” in accordance with the Illinois Part 620 groundwater regulations (35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 620). Specifically, the four PFAS compounds Illinois issued health advisories on are PFBS, PFHxS, PFHxA, and PFOA.

Pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Code, 35 Ill. Adm. Code 620.605, health advisories are issued when a chemical substance that is harmful to …

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Massachusetts Adopts Stricter MCL for Six Combined PFAS Chemicals

On October 2, 2020, Massachusetts became the latest state or commonwealth to promulgate stricter water quality regulations for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued a new standard of 20 parts per trillion (ppt), which is more than three times lower than the present federal standard of 70 ppt (i.e., for the sum of PFOA and PFOS). MA’s new standard is more expansive as it covers the sum of six PFAS chemicals: the well-known PFOA and PFOS, and …

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