Bloomberg Law Quotes Partner Bill Beck on New PFAS Designation, the Expected Rise in Superfund Sites

Bloomberg Law

On April 19, 2024, EPA issued its long-awaited Final Rule officially listing two key per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or so-called "forever chemicals," as "hazardous substances" under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund). The Final Rule designates the two most studied PFAS – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) – as hazardous substances. The effects of the designation will be far-reaching and will extend beyond the broad authority that Superfund gives EPA to address hazardous substances at contaminated sites. Given these sweeping changes, the way they were promulgated, and the high costs that will accompany them, legal challenges to EPA’s new PFAS designation are inevitable.

Lathrop GPM Partner Bill Beck was recently quoted in a piece by Bloomberg Law on the new PFAS designation and expected rise in Superfund sites.

The rule could trigger potentially responsible parties, or PRPs, that are responsible for a Superfund site to have to reopen a property that was cleaned up or nearly finished, said Beck.

A new requirement in the rule affecting parties that have been investigating, paying for remediation, or monitoring sites, "can cost millions of dollars," Beck said. These situations aren't typically controversial as they're known to occur, and potentially responsible parties have established well-funded, organized groups to handle them, he said.

But, "it's an unhappy surprise for everyone in the PRP group," he said, also noting that investigations may identify new parties.

Read the full article here [SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED]: New PFAS Designation Expected to Spark Rise in Superfund Sites