News Recap for 8-14-20
National Law Review: PFAS Water Cleanup…Have You Bought Yourself a Multi-Million Dollar Superfund Issue? — As states continue setting drinking water limits for PFAS and in preparation for the EPA’s final determination of a Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS in drinking water, many water utilities are beginning to evaluate the steps needed to come into compliance with existing or anticipated water regulations. However, the long-term impact of the remediation steps that water treatment facilities are taking may only be pushing litigation costs further down the road, not eliminating them. In addition, little considered Superfund laws may be triggered through PFAS water filtration that could end up costing water treatment facilities tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs.
Bloomberg Law: North Carolina Orders More PFAS Controls From Chemours — North Carolina wants to make the Chemours Co. take a number of additional steps to prevent PFAS contamination from its Fayetteville facility. The state Department of Environmental Quality released an order Thursday that would require the company to treat or stop groundwater seepage and stormwater runoff that is still impacting the Cape Fear River. The plan would build on a February 2019 consent decree and requires state Superior Court approval.
Legal Newsline: North Carolina AG hires private lawyers for PFAS case but contract is a secret — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein won’t be telling voters how much he’s paying a private law firm to explore new litigation over PFAS, despite a previous settlement with company Chemours. The goal of this new investigation, according the the AG, is to determine the extent of damages to North Carolina’s natural resources. he believes money might have been left on the table when Chemours agreed in 2018 to provide drinking water and pay a $12 million civil penalty to settle PFAS liability at its Fayetteville Works facility.
Patch: Sterigenics Makes It Official: It’s Finished In Willowbrook — Late last month, global sterilization company Sterigenics submitted a letter to Illinois regulators officially withdrawing all permit applications in Willowbrook, IL. The withdrawal comes after it became publicly known that the plant was emitting ethylene oxide, though no definitive case has been made that EO is, in fact, carcinogenic at any level of exposure likely to be encountered in household, medical or industrial production environments. Sterigenics makes a commercial sterilizer that uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment.
Mexico News Daily: Herbicide shortage will have major effect on harvests, farmers warn — The agriculture industry is predicting an economic cost of $3.4 billion this year due to lower harvests as a result of a government-induced shortage of glyphosate. Eliminating the use of glyphosate is estimated to reduce harvests by up to 50 percent, and could impact seven million farmers. U.S. studies have determined that glyphosate’s potential harms meet safety limits for humans.