2022 to mark a tipping point for US federal and state PFAS regulatory actions

Blog post by Stephanie Grumet and Ben Bassett , 22 April 2022

The year 2022 will mark an infle x ion point for the growing number of US state and Federal regulations impacting the class of man– made chemicals known as perand polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals. These chemicals have been commonly used for decades in the US to extinguish fires, create non stick coatings on pans, provide stain resistance to clo thes and boots, establish grease barriers in food packaging, and more. PFAS compounds are both mobile in the environment and incredibly durable, rarely breaking down, earning the moniker of “forever chemicals”. There are several thousand compounds known as PFAS.

Now, the entire class of PFAS chemicals is under serious scrutiny from policymakers, environmental groups and others, facing increasing regulation, hazardous substance designations, mounting multidistrict litigation and statelevel bans. And unlike most issues in Washington, there is quite a bit of bipartisan concern in Congress, since PFAS compounds are found in every US state, and do not discriminate by political party. To wit, over 50 bills have been introduced in Congress by both Republicans and Democrats between 2021 and 2022 to attempt to address PFAS.

PFAS has become characteri s s ed as a health crisis akin to asbestos years ago. At a time of partisan gridlock, addressing PFAS contamination, cleanup and remediation enjoys support from both sides of the aisle. PFAS are so widely found that the regulatory developments that are set to be proposed and finali ed in the coming years will affect a myriad of industries, locations and constituencies.


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Carlton Powell
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