Energy Finance Report

PFAS Regulatory Update

Posted by Jeffrey Karp on 6/11/19 4:46 PM

Massachusetts Proposes New PFAS Regulations as States Tackle Contamination

By: Jeffrey Karp, Victor Baltera, Aaron Staudinger, and Maxwell Unterhalter

As in previous postings, we discuss recent state regulatory initiatives aimed at addressing groundwater and drinking water contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances ("PFAS"). PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been used widely in consumer and industrial products since the 1940s. Major applications have included coatings for paper and cardboard packaging products, carpets, textiles with water and oil repellency, non-stick surfaces, and firefighting foams. Due to their chemical structure, PFAS stay in the environment for a long time and do not degrade easily. PFAS have been detected in air, surface water, groundwater, drinking water, and soil.[1] They even have been found in grocery store items, such as meat, fish, dairy, and prepared chocolate-cake.[2] The widespread use and persistence of PFAS in the environment, together with growing evidence that low-level exposure may lead to adverse health effects, has increased concerns about safe levels of human exposure to PFAS.[3] In response, many more state and, to a lesser extent, federal initiatives have been undertaken to regulate PFAS. As discussed below, recently the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (the "MassDEP") has proposed to regulate PFAS within the framework of the Commonwealth’s Massachusetts Contingency Plan.

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Topics: Water, Environmental Law, PFAS

PFAS Regulation Update

Posted by Jeffrey Karp on 3/6/19 10:13 AM

EPA Steps into the Mix While States Continue Swift Action in Light of Potential Health Risks

By: Jeffrey Karp and Kevin Fink

In a prior posting, we noted the proliferation of state legislative and regulatory activity involving Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of man-made chemicals used for over 70 years in a variety of products, such as nonstick cookware, firefighting foam, waterproofing and stain-resistant coatings, and in industrial manufacturing. Measured concentrations of legacy PFAS chemicals are stable and do not degrade very rapidly in the environment. PFAS like perfluorooctanoic acid ("PFOA") and perfluorooctane sulfonate ("PFOS") in groundwater and drinking water sources have been associated as possible links to negative impacts on human health, including decreased fertility rates, increased risk of certain cancers and impaired immune system function.

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Topics: EPA, PFAS, Hazardous Substances

Legislative Update: House of Representatives Introduces Bill to Require EPA to Regulate PFAS as Hazardous Substances under CERCLA

Posted by Jeffrey Karp on 1/16/19 1:37 PM

By Jeffrey Karp and Kevin Fink

In a recent article posted by Manufacturing Today, we discussed the unexpected risks facing manufacturers of products containing Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a class of more than 3,000 man-made chemicals that are receiving heightened public awareness due to concerns about their potential negative impact on human health and the environment.

In addition to the commencement of litigation and the promulgation of PFAS regulations in a number of states, two bills were introduced in the Senate during the last session of Congress that: (1) sought to “encourage” Federal - State cooperative agreements to address removal and remedial actions; and (2) to require the United States Geological Survey (“USGS”) to perform a nationwide survey of the extent of these ubiquitous contaminants.[1] 

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Topics: EPA, PFAS, CERCLA, Hazardous Substances

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The Energy Finance Report analyzes developments in energy finance as well as provides updates and perspectives on market trends and policies.

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