Water Coalition Against PFAS applauds House introduction for PFAS liability

April 18, 2024
The new legislation would hold PFAS producers accountable for pollution of the contaminants, taking the liability off of water utilities and their customers.

The Water Coalition Against PFAS, a coalition of drinking water and wastewater sector organizations, applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would provide a statutory shield for water systems under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for PFAS.

The legislation would help ensure that polluters, not the public, pay for PFAS cleanup. The measure would make the cost of PFAS cleanup fall at the source of the problem, the polluters, and not public utilities and their customers.

The bill was introduced by Representatives John Curtis and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. H.R. 7944 is a companion bill to senate legislation introduced by Senator Cynthia Lummis last year.

The bill is said to provide statutory protection for water utilities in regard to the upcoming designation of PFOA and PFOS, types of PFAS, as hazardous substances by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under CERCLA.

A CERCLA designation for PFAS exposes drinking water and wastewater utilities to potential litigation from the producers of PFAS. PFAS manufacturers can use litigation to reduce their own clean-up costs and increase the costs on water utilities and their customers.

“The impacts that a PFAS CERCLA hazardous substance designation will have on the ability of the water sector to deliver affordable water services cannot be overstated,” said CEO of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies Adam Krantz in a press release.

“We need a true ‘polluter pays’ model that holds accountable the parties responsible for PFAS contamination,” said Krantz in the release.

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