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Michael is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer and represents clients in civil matters in state and federal courts across Ohio, Indiana, and in multiple other jurisdictions nationwide. He has considerable experience representing manufacturers in a variety of industries in cases involving product liability and personal injury claims. He has also represented clients in the commercial development and construction industries in matters involving construction defect and delay claims. Michael also counsels clients in a wide range of commercial and industrial settings on issues involving insurance coverage for a variety of claims under general commercial liability policies.

As regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continues to develop at the state and federal level, an issue of significant concern is the potential for product packaging made with PFAS to impart or “leach” those PFAS into the products contained within. In a prior article in this space, Taft’s Environmental practice group outlined a recent EPA order requiring a manufacturer of fluorinated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers designed to hold various liquid products to cease producing such packaging using PFAS, out of concern for the risk of PFAS leaching into the products. Now, at least one state legislature is taking up the issue in an effort to prevent products containing PFAS as a result of leaching from entering commerce in that state.Continue Reading Proposed Vermont Legislation Seeks to Address PFAS Risks Associated with Fluorinated HDPE Packaging

Less than one month ago, EPA released its final reporting and recordkeeping requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). A Taft PFAS Insights post on that rule is available here. Now, just a few short weeks after issuing that rule, which imposed a one-time reporting requirement for PFAS uses, production volumes, manufacturing byproducts, disposal practices, and PFAS exposures from 2011-2022, EPA is set to issue a final rule that amends reporting requirements for PFAS under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

The TRI, created by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), is a collection of information gathered from the reporting of toxic chemical releases and pollution prevention activities, as required of industrial and federal facilities. Facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use notable quantities of any of the over 780 TRI-listed chemicals must report annually the quantities of those chemicals released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. The vast majority of the 189 chemicals in the PFAS family were added to the TRI list for the 2021 reporting period, and since that time facilities have been required to file an annual report for the TRI if they manufactured, processed, or otherwise used more than 100 pounds of those chemicals in the annual reporting period. Facilities that fell under that volume (the de minimis amount) were previously exempt from the PFAS reporting requirements.Continue Reading Proposed EPA Rule Would Eliminate the De Minimis Exemption for Reporting PFAS Under the Toxics Release Inventory, and Would Require Disclosure of PFAS in Chemical Mixtures and Finished Products