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Looking at EPA regulation of PFASs and similar chemicals

We’ve been looking in recent posts at a study concerning the presence of toxic chemicals known as PFASs in public water supplies, noting that Georgia is among a group of states noted to have relatively high levels of these chemicals in its water supplies. As we noted, the EPA does regulate this group of chemicals.

There are a handful of federal laws which directly or indirectly regulate the use of PFASs. The Safe Drinking Water Act, for instance, regulates nearly 100 water contaminants and laid out a process for identifying and listing unregulated contaminants for potential data gathering and potential regulatory decision-making. Although the EPA currently has no regulations in place for PFASs and similar types of chemicals, it has taken several nonregulatory actions demonstrating that it is evaluating whether to issue such regulations. 

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act, the EPA has issued a series of rules related to PFASs and other related chemicals which bring these chemicals more into the agency’s oversight and control, including evaluating the safety of such chemicals and prohibiting or limiting their use in manufacturing.

Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency can set review and revise technology standards to adjust for improved air pollution control. PFASs and related chemicals can come into consideration in setting these standards. In addition, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act can potentially involve PFASs when it is found that there is a hazardous waste site which contains high levels of the contaminant.

Those who have been harmed by PFASs and similar chemicals in some manner do not have to sit back and just live with the consequences. Working with experienced legal counsel is important, first of all, to know what legal recourse is available, and second, to build the strongest possible case if it is determined that litigation is the right course of action. 

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