PFAS Legislation Would Be An "Unprecedented Step," Environmental Lawyer Says

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July 18, 2019

An environmental lawyer told Legal Newsline that a U.S. House-passed amendment to require the Environmental Protection Agency to classify all PFAS chemicals as a toxic pollutant would be “an unprecedented step.” 

Steven M. Jawetz said the amendment, which passed the House as part of a defense appropriations bill, would also “expan[d] the universe of parties that can be brought into the web of Superfund liability,” which regulates chemical and waste cleanup processes. The amendment would open liability not just on the owners of the contaminated property, but also whoever arranged to bring the substance there.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies pressed lawmakers to vote no, saying it would “force local communities to shoulder cleanup costs for which they have no responsibility.”