Communication, Treatment, and Cost Mitigation

PFAS Playbook: Communication, Treatment, and Cost Mitigation

On March 14, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new proposal for the regulation of six PFAS substances: PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, PFBS, PFHxS, and GenX.  The projected concentration limits are 4 parts per trillion (ppt), a concentration that is likely to be exceeded in groundwater across the country. EPA also plans to designate PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances, which will extend liability to owners or operators of property where products containing PFAS have been used.

If this proposal is finalized, EPA expects it will prevent thousands of deaths and serious illnesses caused by PFAS contamination. However, the proposed regulations would mandate that all states and water systems take responsibility for the cleanup, which could involve installing treatment systems or switching to an alternative water supply. Managing the testing, handling, and disposing of PFAS can be a complicated, costly process, and requires water contamination expertise. Water systems nationwide have already begun seeking effective communication, treatment, and funding strategies.

At SL Environmental Law Group, we understand the concerns and challenges that water systems face in dealing with PFAS contamination. This playbook will provide guidance on effective communication strategies, treatment options for PFAS contamination, and ways to prepare for impending regulations and plan for cost recovery.

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Communication Strategy

Between the upcoming federal regulations proposed by EPA and the growing public concern over PFAS contamination, water systems affected by PFAS will continue to garner even more public attention.

Treatment Options

PFAS cleanup often requires complex, expensive treatment processes. Understanding what all of your options are, their pros and cons, and which option is best for you is the first step in choosing the right technology.

Strategy for Cost Recovery

One prominent option to offset the compounding costs of PFAS detection is to use the legal process to hold the manufacturers of the products containing PFAS accountable, a strategy that is building momentum.