PFAS pose ‘watershed’ moment for Superfund liability

Read the full story at E&E News.

The Biden administration’s ambitions to crack down on “forever chemicals” — touted as an administration priority — are facing headwinds from key industries that say they could be unfairly punished and held liable for contamination they did not create.

Members of the water and waste sectors are ramping up pressure on Congress and EPA to shield them from an upcoming proposal as the agency makes progress on addressing PFAS contamination. Linked to a variety of health impacts like cancer, the notorious family of chemicals are widespread throughout commerce, leading to their persistence in both water and waste utilities.

The industries say they are “passive receivers” of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and did not create the chemicals, which are used in everything from nonstick pans and dental floss to industrial firefighting foam. But they could soon face liability for PFAS contamination, whether they intentionally caused the problem or not.

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