May 9, 2019

PFAS, Part 2: Congress, States Try to Fill Gap Created by EPA Inaction UPDATE

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On April 25, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published and requested public comments on Draft Interim Recommendations to Address Groundwater Contaminated with Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate.  The guidance applies to contaminated groundwater at “sites being evaluated and addressed under federal cleanup programs,” including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are not regulated under federal law, and most states have not enacted legislation or promulgated regulations that could be considered Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs) under CERCLA, so the authority on which EPA may rely to enforce its recommendations is unclear.

 

The draft recommendations have not been published in the Federal Register, but are available on EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/pfas/draft-interim-recommendations-addressing-groundwater-contaminated-pfoa-and-pfos.  This is not the typical notice-and-comment procedure, so it will be interesting to see how many and what type of comments are submitted, and how the agency goes about publishing the final recommendations.

 

Comments are due June 10, 2019.

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