Photo of Arthur Siegal

For over 35 years Arthur has represented clients dealing with all aspects of environmental law including governmental regulations, permitting, and compliance, assisting clients in corporate and real estate acquisitions with assessing and managing liabilities, and helping clients obtain brownfield redevelopment incentives.

On Sept. 8, 2023, the Michigan Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) against the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority (the Authority), the operator of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Kent County. The suit asserts claims under Part 31 and Part 201 of the Michigan environmental code.

EGLE alleged the presence of PFAS compounds in excess of Part 201 standards originating from operations at the Airport property and off-site in residential drinking water, streams, and groundwater nearby.

EGLE also alleged that the Authority exceeded permit limits for various non-PFAS compounds, that it failed to report other stormwater discharge sampling data, that it failed to submit certain monitoring reports in three successive years, and that PFOS detected also exceeded the Rule 57 (323.1057) Water Quality Values.Continue Reading EGLE Sues Grand Rapids Airport Authority Over PFAS Discharge

On October 18, 2021, EPA issued its “PFAS Strategic Roadmap: EPA’s Commitments to Action 2021-2024.” This roadmap sets out EPA’s action plan for minimizing the release of PFAS into the environment. On September 6, 2022, EPA proposed to designate Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS), two PFAS compounds, as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Recently, EPA announced it was pushing back its target for this hazardous substance designation to February 2024. This designation could result in sellers being strictly liable for costs associated with onsite and offsite contamination from PFAS, regardless of whether the risk of contamination is known at the time of purchase. But doing so could raise major concerns for the real estate market, which, until recently, had turned a blind eye to PFAS related issues.
Before entering a business transaction involving real estate with potential environmental concerns related to PFAS, parties should consider the following to protect their interests.Continue Reading Key PFAS Considerations for Real Estate Transactions

After much anticipation in the environmental community, EPA has announced proposed enforceable drinking water standards for six PFAS compounds, including PFOA and PFOS.

Unlike the agency’s two prior health advisories, these maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), if finalized, will set legally enforceable compliance standards for drinking water. Of interest is that EPA set the new proposed MCLs for PFOA and PFOS at the practical quantitation level (PQL), defined as the “lowest concentration of a contaminant that can be reliably achieved within specified limits of precision and accuracy during routine laboratory operating conditions.” According to EPA, “EPA has determined that PFOA and PFOS are likely carcinogens (i.e., cancer causing) and that there is no level of these contaminants that is without a risk of adverse health effects. Therefore, EPA is proposing the set the MCL for these two contaminants at four parts per trillion, the lowest feasible level based on the ability to reliably measure and remove these contaminants from drinking water.” Thus, although the proposed enforceable MCLs are higher than EPA’s 2022 Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS, which were set based on health risks, the proposed new MCLs are still set at essentially the instrument detection levels.Continue Reading EPA Proposes New Strategy for Regulating PFAS in Drinking Water