Minnesota is seeking public comment on the development of new rules to implement recent state legislation prohibiting offers to sell, the sale, and/or distribution of any product or product component containing any intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)in the state of Minnesota, regardless of whether the product is intended for industrial, commercial, or consumer use. The law (Minnesota Session Law – 2023, Chapter 60, Article 3, Section 21, codified as Minn. Stat. § 116.943, and referred to as “Amara’s Law”) casts a wide regulation net and falls in line with Minnesota’s history of regulations addressing intentionally added PFAS in products. The law includes a provision that allows for the use of PFAS in such products, if the use is currently unavoidable, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) current public comment period is seeking input on what uses of intentionally added PFAS will qualify as “currently unavoidable uses.”Continue Reading MPCA Seeks Comments on Currently Unavoidable Uses of Intentionally Added PFAS
Kodi provides clients with strategic and business-minded solutions across many areas of environmental regulation. She counsels clients on environmental due diligence as part of business transactions; provides general environmental compliance assistance across all environmental media; assists in developing strategies around environmental management systems; manages a portfolio of discontinued operation sites with environmental contamination across the United States for a multinational company; represents a group of companies performing remediation activities at a federal Superfund site; assists clients in navigating environmental enforcement actions, self-reporting, and voluntary cleanup or remediation programs; and counsels clients on a variety of natural resource law issues.
For several years, many in the legal and environmental communities have wondered what the reach of enforcement by the EPA might be if the agency were to determine that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or, more informally known as Superfund). EPA proposed Superfund designations in 2022 for two PFAS (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)). Superfund provides a mechanism for the EPA to force the parties responsible for the contamination at a designated Superfund site to either perform the cleanups with EPA oversight or reimburse the EPA if the EPA leads the cleanup activities. To date, EPA has identified nearly 200 Superfund sites where PFAS are present.
In October, as reported by Inside EPA, EPA’s chief of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Office’s cleanup programs branch, Charlotte Mooney, spoke about PFAS at Superfund sites at the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials’ annual conference. During that session, Mooney confirmed that the EPA’s proposed designation of PFAS as a hazardous substance could lead the agency to reopen sites where cleanup had previously been considered complete. Mooney stated the analysis would be done on a “case-by-case basis” but the criteria for that analysis has not been disclosed to date.Continue Reading EPA Official Indicates PFAS Hazardous Substance Designation Under Superfund May Lead to Reopening Past Cleanup Actions
On May 17, 2023, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that they had reached a settlement with Douglas Corp., a chrome plater, regarding its historical use and disposal of plating solutions containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) as part of its plating operations.
At issue were Douglas Corp.’s…