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Olivia is an associate in Taft’s Environmental practice group representing clients in a range of matters including environmental compliance, permitting, and due diligence.

With the publication of two new proposed rules on February 8, 2024, EPA has taken the first step under its PFAS Strategic Roadmap to bring PFAS compounds under the umbrella of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  These proposals are designed to accomplish both short- and long-term objectives.  In the short-term, EPA’s proposals will make PFAS compounds subject to corrective action authorities at RCRA hazardous waste facilities.  This means that if a release occurs at such facilities, the owner or operator must investigate whether the contamination includes PFAS and, if so, remediate the contamination along with other hazardous constituents. In the long term, EPA’s proposals set the stage to list nine PFAS compounds as RCRA hazardous wastes. Continue Reading EPA Sets the Stage to List PFAS as a Hazardous Waste

On December 1, 2023, the U.S. EPA ordered Inhance Technologies LLC (Inhance) to stop producing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as part of its fluorination of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers. According to the EPA, Inhance’s fluorination process enhances the barrier properties of plastic containers, but produces nine different types of PFAS.

Fluorinated HDPE containers are used for storing household products, pesticides, and other industrial goods. In 2019, the drinking water of the town Easton, Massachusetts, tested positive for PFOA, a type of PFAS, and was traced back to a mosquitocide used by state officials. In September 2020, the EPA determined that the PFAS found in the mosquitocide emanated from the product’s HDPE plastic container, which was fluorinated by Inhance. EPA later concluded that PFOA and other PFAS chemicals in containers fluorinated by Inhance can migrate into liquid products and continue migrating over time.Continue Reading US EPA Seeks to Eliminate PFAS From HDPE Plastic Containers

In an August 2023 report on per- and polyfluoroalkyl (“PFAS”) substance uses, the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) argues that phasing out PFAS production may harm national security. This report comes after 3M announced it will phase out production of PFAS and PFAS-containing products by 2025. The report to the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Senate outlines the uses of PFAS that DoD believes are critical to domestic production of weapons and which DOD argues will be challenging and costly to find alternatives for.Continue Reading U.S. Department of Defense Warns Against Overbroad Regulation of PFAS