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PFAS Playbook

On March 19, 2021, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) announced that it intends to list perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”) as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (“Proposition 65”).[1] For several years now PFOA has been included on the Prop. 65 list as a chemical known to cause reproductive toxicity, but this proposed change would list PFOA as a chemical “known to cause cancer.”

The change in language means that any ...

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On March 17, 2021, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking data concerning discharges of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from manufacturers regulated in the Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers (OCPSF) point source category to inform potential future revisions to the category’s wastewater discharge requirements, fulfilling a pledge made in in the Final Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 14 issued earlier this year.

EPA’s ANPRM suggests EPA is considering ...

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Posted in Drinking Water

Illinois is now the most recent state to take steps to address PFAS in drinking water. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) recently released non-enforceable Health Advisory Levels (HAL) for four different PFAS, including PFOA (one of the more prevalent and widely studied type of PFAS). Although a non-enforceable guidance level, Illinois EPA’s HAL for PFOA is among the lowest standards in the country at 2 parts per trillion (ppt), well below the 70 ppt HAL set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

What does this mean for Illinois businesses? Expect ...

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February 22 brought another significant development in the world of PFAS, as EPA finalized its decision to regulate levels of PFOS and PFOA in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). To date, EPA has only issued non-enforceable health advisory guidelines, but this new determination means EPA will initiate the scientific review process to propose Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for PFOA and PFOS within two years. For more details, read our legal alert here.

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For the first time ever, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently posted information about PFAS being present in personal care products such as lotions, nail polish, shaving cream, foundation and mascara. There is even some concern about PFAS contained in dental floss. While this is really not a new phenomenon – as a 2018 study conducted by the Environmental Working Group found that a number of beauty and skin care products contain Teflon – what is new is that the FDA is now taking steps to address it. Click here to read our recent client alert that discusses the research and ...

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2021 was already looking like a big regulatory year for PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances used for decades in everything from nonstick cookware to stain-resistant fabrics. But 2020’s final weeks point to a particular focus when it comes to the so-called “forever chemicals” – as well as tricky questions related to PFAS remediation. 

PFAS efforts have gained traction for years across the country and continue to do so. More local governments will likely ask for PFAS information in permitting in the months and years ahead. Individual companies, meanwhile, must ...

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Private equity firms are itching to use up their dry powder and M&A activity is surging. But a different acronym should be atop dealmakers' minds going into 2021. 

Regulations about PFAS contamination — per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances used in products like nonstick cookware and waterproof or stain-resistant fabrics – is primed to increase under the Biden administration. Meanwhile, dealmakers targeting sites possibly contaminated years or even decades ago face a heating (and possibly narrowing) M&A window.

For buyers, it’s crucial to understand this moment and act ...

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More federal and state actions on PFAS in groundwater is likely under a Biden administration, but is also possible under another Trump administration. Companies facing potential liability should prepare for more regulation regardless of who wins the election. There are steps we suggest companies to take to prepare themselves, including: 

  • Stay plugged in on PFAS developments; 
  • Engage in formal lobbying;
  • Get your arms around any possible contamination and vulnerabilities; and 
  • Know the limits of insurance coverage from an insurance perspective and evaluate what entities around ...
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Legal tensions surrounding PFAS in food have intensified in recent years, and they are likely to become more heated. We suggest that there are four steps companies can proactively take to enhance customer safety and limit possible damages related to PFAS litigation, including:

  • Determine the source of the PFAS
  • Determine how the liability - and risk - could be spread
  • Know that civil liability often comes with regulatory liability
  • Make sure your records are good

To read more, view the full article in Food Safety Magazine, here.

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About this Blog

Lathrop GPM has deep experience developing regulatory strategy and defending litigation in the area of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and we have been involved in some of the nation’s most-publicized cases. The PFAS Playbook blog is dedicated to helping readers stay up to date and understand the latest regulatory updates on PFAS. 

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