U.S. EPA Announces New National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for PFAS

On April 10, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first-ever legally enforceable drinking water standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of thousands of manmade chemicals that have been manufactured and used globally since the 1940s. They are commonly found in textiles, cookware, packaging, plastics, and firefighting foams. PFAS are typically very persistent in the environment and in the human body, meaning that they do not break down and can accumulate over long periods of time. For that reason, they are often called “forever chemicals.” This action is the most recent step in the EPA’s October 2021 “PFAS Strategic Roadmap,” a report establishing action items to address PFAS contamination and timelines for their completion.


U.S. EPA Proposes First Enforceable PFAS Water Contamination Levels

On March 14, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed its long-anticipated National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) to limit six common types of PFAS in drinking water. This is the first time EPA has sought to establish legally enforceable national PFAS[1] contamination levels for drinking water. This step represents the latest action under the Biden administration’s multistep plan to limit PFAS levels in the United States, building upon EPA’s October 2021 PFAS Strategic Roadmap and its pending proposal to designate certain PFAS as hazardous substances under CERCLA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.


Flint, Michigan, Water Woes Continue for Independent Engineering Company

On Monday, February 7, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan denied in part a professional engineering company’s motion for summary judgment in Walters et al. v. Flint et al., part of the ongoing Flint water litigation. Plaintiffs in the litigation sought to hold the engineering company, which has served as a water engineer for the City of Flint since at least 2011 and had been involved in discussing and planning the city’s possible switch of water source, liable for professional negligence based on the company’s failure to warn the city of its plan’s shortcomings or otherwise recommend corrective measures.   (more…)

EPA Takes Two New Actions on PFAS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took two important actions in late December 2021 related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of chemicals receiving increasing legislative and regulatory scrutiny in recent years. The two actions relate to drinking-water monitoring data and to toxicity and human-health testing data. (more…)