News Recap for 8-21-20
The Oregonian: Oregon liability protections for businesses, schools, clinics in limbo while governor mulls third special legislative session —Oregon lawmakers surprisingly did not address coronavirus liability protections for businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations during a one-day, 15-hour special session. Lawmakers involved in the process say that groups were unable to come to an agreement in such a short amount of time. A coalition of more than 50 businesses, schools, government entities and nonprofit organizations have been pushing the Oregon Legislature to act quickly to enact liability protections that shield entities from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
Coastal Review Online: State Seeks Input on Chemours’ Next Steps —North Carolina is taking public comments until Sept. 17 on the latest steps to prevent PFAS from entering the Cape Fear River through groundwater from the Chemours’ Fayetteville Works Site. An addendum, added by the state Department of Environment Quality and the Southern Environmental Law Center, requires Chemours to treat onsite stormwater that is adding residual pollution to the river with a capture and treatment system that must remove at least 99% of PFAS. Failure to meet the schedules or achieve the removal goals will result in financial penalties.
The Western Producer: Mexico to phase out glyphosate —Mexico will gradually phase out the use of glyphosate by late 2024, the country announced this week. “We couldn’t get rid of it in one fell swoop, it can’t be done, it would hit food output,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said. “We would have to import, and also products and foods that are grown with these agrochemicals.” Mexico follows several other countries who have outlawed the chemical and tried to find alternatives to glyphosate, notably without success.
Bloomberg: Idaho, Unable to Regulate PFAS, Seeks to Convey Chemicals’ Risks — Idaho is deciding how to communicate the potential risks of PFAS to the public while awaiting formal drinking water limits from the Environmental Protection Agency. Under state law, Idaho isn’t permitted to set drinking water limits that are more stringent than the EPA’s, and the federal agency has yet to set any enforceable standards for the chemicals.
Pensacola News Journal: Pensacola joins lawsuit against manufacturers of ‘forever chemical’ PFAS — Pensacola and three other Florida cities — Sanford, Melbourne and Tampa — have joined a federal, multi-district product liability lawsuit alleging manufacturers like 3M, DuPont over the sale of PFAS chemicals. The suit alleges the companies sold these products despite knowing of the potential dangers, though science suggests that the majority of PFAS—which refers to a wide group of chemicals—are innocuous.