Short Use, Yet Long Life: New Study Highlights Persisting PFAS Treatment In Common Consumer Products

It’s worth noting that certain everyday products that U.S. consumers encounter frequently may still be treated with PFAS. That’s the focus of a recent study.  The study, conducted by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future, screened various retailer’s food-contact materials (i.e., take-out containers, bakery or deli paper, single-use plates) for the presence of suspected PFAS treatment. Although a small sample size, the study found that 5/8 (or about 63 percent) of take-out containers that they had collected from different
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Pincer Move? State AGs Employ Two-Pronged Attack on U.S. EPA Over Landfill Emissions

A multistate coalition of Attorneys General, including California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and the California Air Resources Board, joined to file comments demanding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdraw its proposed rule delaying by four years implementation of a regulation that would reduce emissions from landfills. The regulation at issue, known formally as the 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfill, was designed to reduce landfill emissions
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New Hampshire Proposes MCLs for PFAS Compounds…But Many Aren’t Cheering the Proposals

This week we continue our reporting on the state by state regulatory patch work involving per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). On Wednesday, January 2, 2019, officials in New Hampshire announced a set of proposed drinking water rules outlining Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and Ambient Groundwater Quality Standards (AGQSS) for four PFAS compounds. The new rules were issued along with a summary report prepared by the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). According to the report, NHDES considered 1) the extent
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EPA Proposes Rollback of Mercury Regulations

Last week of 2018, during the partial government shutdown and holiday lull, many may have missed a significant development in the environmental law arena – a proposal by the EPA to rollback an Obama-era regulation to reduce mercury pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants. ​The 2011 rule, called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards(MATS), was promulgated by the prior administration and intended to address the negative effects of mercury on human health and the environment by requiring power plants to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxins by more than 90 percent over 5 years. The regulation focused on
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PA Supreme Court Enforces “Impact Fees” Against Natural Gas Drillers, Defines Scope

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued an opinion providing guidance to the natural gas industry regarding the application of “impact fees” associated with hydraulic fracturing. ​In Snyder Brothers, Inc., v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, et. al., the court decided that natural gas drillers whose production from wells exceeds 90,000 cubic feet per day, for even one month of the year, will be required to pay impact fees. The decision overturns Pennsylvania’s intermediary appellate court’s prior decision that allowed drillers to avoid the impact fee if their vertical wells were classified as “stripper wells,” which, by definition, are not subject to impact fees due
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Federal Court Shoots Down Pipeline Project

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with environmental groups this week, ruling that the U.S. Forest Service violated federal environmental laws by granting permission for the construction of the Atlantic Coastal Pipeline. This 600 mile natural gas pipeline would cut through the mid-Atlantic United States, from West Virginia to North Caroline, and would traverse part of the Appalachian Trail. The project has been met with opposition since its inception, with environmentalists arguing that federal agencies have failed to
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The EPA’s Recent WOTUS Proposal Continues the Death Knell for the Clean Water Rule (2015)

The 2015 Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, suffered another blow last week as the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers released a new proposed definition of covered waters to replace the Obama administration’s controversial regulation, and opened a 60 day period for public comment. As we’ve previously reported, litigation throughout the United States has left a patchwork quilt of states where the WOTUS rule remained in effect.
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A “Natural”? Court Dismisses Trace Glyphosate Claim Against Orange Juice Growers

Glyphosate litigation continues to grow apace.  In addition to the massive numbers of personal injury cases based on exposure to the popular herbicide, on which we have reported previously, the plaintiffs have begun to file cases alleging deceptive trade practices against companies that market food products containing trace amounts of glyphosate with labels like “Natural” or “Pure”.   ​One such case was brought in federal court in New York against Florida’s Natural Growers, Inc. and its parent company, Citrus World, Inc.,
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Another State Takes a Seat at the PFAS Table – Developments in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

As an emerging issue touching most corners of the country, our firm’s lawyers report on everything PFAS. Although New York and New Jersey — the latter being one of the leaders on PFAS action — are popular subjects, we come to you today with an update from their neighbor: the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A state without its own PFAS regulations, it has been taking meaningful steps in the last few months to investigate these substances. On September 19, 2018,
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NJ District Ct Sets High Bar To Impose CERCLA and RCRA Liability Against Government For Remedial Costs – Direct Control Needed

In PPG Industries, Inc. v. United States of America, et al., the District Court in New Jersey recently found in favor of the government in a CERCLA contribution action. PPG Industries, Inc. (plaintiff) sued the United States, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Commerce (defendants) for (1) cost recovery and contribution under CERCLA and for remediation assistance under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The plaintiff owned property in Jersey City, New Jersey and operated a chromite
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