Posts tagged PFAS.
EPA Action on “Forever Chemicals”

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are at the top of every environmental regulator’s list in 2024 and already this year the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken key steps toward regulating PFAS as hazardous substances. On April 19, 2024, EPA announced that it finalized its rulemaking designating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and per-fluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (also known as the Superfund law). … 

UPDATE: EPA Takes Next Step in PFAS Regulations – Proposing Adding Nine PFAS as Hazardous Constituents

On January 31, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is proposing to list nine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous constituents under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This action represents another significant step in the regulation of PFAS.

PFAS are a key focus of many environmental regulators and of many people as well largely based on their ubiquity and catchy nickname “forever chemicals.” Both come from the fact that PFAS do not break down naturally over time either in the environment or in the human ...

The Impact of Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget on Water Projects

On January 10, 2024, Governor Newsom announced his 2024-2025 State budget proposal for $291 billion with a $37.9 billion proposed deficit. For water projects, the proposal is remarkably similar to his proposal from last year. The main differences as compared to last year’s proposal are bigger cuts (to many of the same areas cut last year) and less funding for new projects.

Governor Newsom seeks to address the $37.9 billion budget shortfall (which is substantially lower than the Legislative Analyst Office’s $68 billion projection from last month) through a variety of ...

Upcoming Deadlines for Water Agencies for PFAS Settlements

Deadlines are upcoming related to the multi-district per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) litigation. The relevant settlements are with DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva (collectively, DuPont) and 3M, parties who allegedly manufactured various PFAS chemicals. The currently-pending settlements cover $1.185 billion for DuPont and $10.5-$12.5 billion for 3M.

The litigation is focused on alleged contamination of drinking water caused by DuPont’s and 3M’s alleged manufacture of PFAS chemicals. PFAS are a family of manmade chemicals that are used due to beneficial ...

EPA Finalizes PFAS Reporting Requirements

On September 28, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its rule requiring reporting of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). According to EPA’s press release, the rule is intended to “provide EPA, its partners, and the public with the largest-ever dataset of [PFAS] manufactured and used in the United States.”

EPA’s new rule is part of its PFAS Strategic Roadmap, the Biden Administration’s plan to address PFAS, a family of man-made chemicals that are becoming well-known and well-studied based on their ubiquity and resistance to breaking down naturally.... 

Controlling Contaminants, a Focus on PFAS

Commonly known as “forever chemicals” due to their ability to persist in the environment, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an emerging contaminant of concern that the United States Environmental Protection Agency is currently promulgating regulations to address. The long-awaited adoption of an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS will bring sweeping changes and challenges to public water systems across the country. We provide insights on the on-going PFAS rulemaking process and what it might mean for the water industry … 

The Impact of Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget on Water Projects

On January 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his $297 billion budget proposal for 2023-2024, which includes a $22.5 billion budget deficit. Despite environmental/climate change programs facing $6 billion in cuts, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget includes relatively few negative impacts to water projects. In fact, the drought response and water resilience section, which includes the vast majority of water-related funding, only faces a cut of two percent, from $8.7 billion to $8.6 billion. That two percent reduction is the lowest of any environmental category. ...  

UPDATE: House and Senate Pass Nearly $38 Billion in Funding for Water Projects as Part of National Defense Authorization Act

On December 6, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a bipartisan vote of 350-80. The NDAA includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, which includes nearly $38 billion in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). (The text of the WRDA begins on page 3160 of the NDAA.) The WRDA is biennial legislation that provides the Corps with funding to address navigation, flood control, and ecosystem restoration. This year’s bill authorizes projects in all 50 states. On the same day, a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives announced that they reached an agreement on the WRDA. On December 15, 2022, the Senate passed the NDAA. … 

California Sues Alleged PFAS Manufacturers for Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

On November 10, 2022, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that he had filed a lawsuit against 3M, DuPont, and sixteen other companies for their roles in manufacturing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The lawsuit seeks money damages, which could reach hundreds of millions of dollars, for damages, penalties, and restitution, as well as injunctive relief and abatement. Some consider the lawsuit the broadest of its kind brought by any state.

PFAS is an umbrella term that covers dozens of types of man-made chemicals. PFAS were used for a variety of purposes ...

EPA Announces No Safe Level for Two PFAS and $1 Billion in Funding

On June 15, 2022, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new health advisories for four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The health advisories significantly lowered the level considered safe to consume for two PFAS and set limits for two new PFAS. At the same time, EPA announced it was making $1 billion available in grant funding to help communities address PFAS contamination.

PFAS have been dubbed “forever chemicals” because they tend to linger in the environment and humans rather than naturally breaking down. There are dozens of different types ...

EPA Announces Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 Final Rule Webinars

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two public meetings via webinar to cover a comprehensive overview of its most recent Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule ("UCMR"), UCMR 5. The two meetings will be held on March 16th from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and March 17th from 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm (eastern time). The meetings will be identical, and EPA has posted links to sign up for either of the webinars on its website. The webinars are currently first-come, first-served, and sign-up space for them is limited. EPA has stated that it may schedule additional webinars if there is ...

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Updated Plan to Address PFAS Chemicals

On October 18, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration announced an updated government-wide “comprehensive approach” to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a set of man-made chemicals that are widely used in a variety of consumer and industrial products, and which persist in the environment once released and may be linked to health impacts. The announcement identified several activities to address PFAS by eight federal agencies, as well as proposed funding in the forthcoming infrastructure bill for monitoring for PFAS compounds in drinking water through ...

OEHHA Releases Long-Awaited Proposed Public Health Goals for PFOA and PFOS

Today, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of the California Environmental Protection Agency announced the release of a draft document for public review describing proposed Public Health Goals (PHGs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water. The release of the draft PHGs is a long-awaited and significant step in the regulation of such per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in California.

The draft PHGs identified by OEHHA are 0.007 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA to address concerns based on ...

Recap of the Election’s Potential Legislative Impacts on the Water Sector

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar “Flood or Drought? A Discussion of the Election’s Potential Legislative Impacts on the Water Sector”, please check out the recording of the on-demand webinar, which can be accessed here. Additionally, we invite you to download the presentation slide deck here.

Several key take-aways from the presentation included:

  • Consensus among the water industry, and a proactive approach, will help advance legislative goals under tight timeline pressures.
  • The State Resources Water Control Board is currently gathering information about ...
PFAS: Updates on the Regulatory Landscape

Please join me as I moderate “PFAS: Updates on the Regulatory Landscape” on July 29th, from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PT, during the 2020 Summer Virtual Conference, hosted by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).

Participants will come away from this session with important information about...

Developments in Regulating PFAS in Water

Recently, I participated in the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern. My fellow panelists and I discussed “PFAS in Water,” which included a discussion of the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters, as well as the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards.  I was privileged to serve on this panel along with Chris Curran, Water Business Line PFAS Lead, AECOM; Rula Deeb, Ph.D., Senior Principal, Geosyntec Consultants; and Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice. Some of the main take-aways from our presentation included ...

UPCOMING WEBINAR: PFAS in Water

Please join me on May 5, 2020, when I will participate in a webinar panel discussion, "PFAS in Water," hosted by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). As the second presentation during the ELI Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern, our  panel will dive into the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters. We will also tackle the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards. Additionally, our group of experienced water sector practitioners will explore the federal and regional regulatory ...

EPA Takes Key Step Toward Regulation of PFAS
On March 10, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed Preliminary Regulatory Determinations for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water, thereby taking the initial steps to formally regulate two of the most common chemicals in the family of compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. EPA will seek comment on these preliminary determinations until May 11, 2020.
 
This announcement represents EPA’s preliminary determination that PFOA and PFOS meet the statutory criteria for regulation ...

California Water Views provides timely and insightful updates on the water sector in the state. We relay information on how water legislation and policy from the nation’s capital, Sacramento, and around the U.S. affect California’s water utilities, agencies, practitioners, and consumers.  We also write about important events, conferences, legal cases, and other key happenings involving all things water in and around California.

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