Menu
Blog Banner Image

PFAS Playbook

PFAS Playbook

  • Posts by Matthew A. Walker
    Associate

    Matt Walker’s practice includes all areas of environmental law, including litigation, regulatory compliance, and assistance with corporate transactions. He utilizes his background working for environmental regulatory ...

A multi-year investigation into Michigan’s wastewater treatment plants led to a recent discovery—PFAS chemicals made their way into Michigan’s beef supply. While PFAS contaminations have occurred in isolated beef populations in states like New Mexico, this was the first occurrence in Michigan.

What’s the concern? Accumulation in humans.

PFAS are a class of man-made compounds that are used to create fluoropolymer coatings which make products resistant to heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. Their pervasiveness results in countless sources of PFAS contamination ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Earlier this month, the Wisconsin State Natural Resources Board (NRB) moved to regulate the two most widely studied PFAS compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), in both drinking water and surface water within the state. Unlike some other states that have moved to adopt aggressive standards for groundwater such as Michigan, however, the Board declined to set limits on PFAS in groundwater. The Wisconsin Board’s decisions come in the context of broader federal PFAS regulation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

On November 16, EPA asked its Science Advisory Board (SAB) to review draft scientific documents re-evaluating EPA’s 2016 analysis of potential health effects of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The review could lead to EPA lowering its existing drinking water health advisory levels and inform development of National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for the two compounds.

EPA sent four draft documents with recent scientific data and analyses to its SAB that indicate adverse health effects may occur at lower levels of exposure to PFOA ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

In an August 5thletter to the food packaging industry, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a reminder to manufacturers, distributors, and users of fluorinated polyethene food packaging of the limitations of fluorinated polyethylene containers that are authorized for food contact use. The FDA also reminded the food packaging industry that the manufacturing of such packaging must be made under specific conditions and in compliance with existing FDA regulations.

The FDA’s letter comes in the wake of recent testing performed by the Environmental Protection ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

On August 6, 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law S.B. 561, known as the PFAS Reduction Act. The new law focuses on Class B firefighting foams, commonly referred to as aqueous film forming foams, which have been widely recognized as a source of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Among other provisions, the PFAS Reduction Act directs the following:

  • Prohibits any person (including local governments and fire departments) from discharging Class B firefighting foams containing PFAS during training exercises or testing, except under certain conditions.
  • After January 1 ...
Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule that would require more data from manufacturers on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) made since 2011. In the proposed rule, which can be read here, EPA announced their intention to gather certain information going back to January 1, 2011 in accordance with revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mandated by the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This one-time reporting obligation would apply to both chemical manufacturers and processors, as well as ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

On July 22, the state of California unveiled for public review its draft public health goals (PHGs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), two of the most widely studied types of PFAS. As noted in the goals, these two particular compounds have been used in consumer products and industrial settings for the last half-century. Because of their prevalence, California now proposes establishing a limit of PFOA at 7 parts per quadrillion in drinking water, and 1 part per trillion for PFOS. Even if finalized, California’s PHGs are not directly ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Three northeastern states are among those that have recently taken legislative action to address PFAS in consumer products and the environment. Maryland recently banned 13 different PFAS and their salts from being sold in cosmetic products within the state. Vermont recently passed an even stricter law prohibiting the sale of several categories of commercial products containing PFAS. Finally, Maine has established a limit of 20 parts per trillion for six types of PFAS found in drinking water, well below EPA’s 70 parts per trillion advisory level for PFOS and PFOA, while also ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

On April 27, 2021, new EPA Administrator Michael Regan issued a memorandum calling for the creation of a council composed of senior EPA officials dedicated to addressing nationwide impacts from Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). In the memo, which can be read here, Administrator Regan directs the newly formed EPA Council on PFAS (“ECP”) to:

  • Develop “PFAS 2021-2025 — Safeguarding America's Waters, Air and Land,” a multi-year strategy to deliver critical public health protections to the American public based on EPA’s review of all ongoing actions and ...
Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Members of Congress are renewing legislative efforts to impose new limitations on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”). Announced by lawmakers from Michigan on April 13, the PFAS Action Act of 2021 would impose several significant restrictions upon the use, disposal, and clean-up of PFAS. Among other items, the Act would:

  1. Create nationwide drinking water standards for two of the most widely studied types of PFAS, PFOA and PFOS
  2. Require EPA to designate PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” under CERCLA within one year, and determine whether to list all other PFAS ...
Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

United States Senator, Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), along with other House and Senate Democrats, recently announced new legislation targeted at addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) contamination. The proposed PFAS Accountability Act, which has not yet been released, would establish a federal cause of action allowing individuals who have been exposed to PFAS to sue companies that manufacture or use the chemicals. Senator Gillibrand’s legislation will also provide legal pathways for federal courts to set up medical monitoring programs for ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

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 ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
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 ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

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.

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

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 ...

Email LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

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. 

Topics

Archives

Blog Authors

Recent Posts