Advocacy Alert

Urge Congress to Address CERCLA Liability for PFAS and Ensure Polluters Pay

Aug 9, 2023

As you know, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) could impose significant liability on clean water utilities for the cleanup of PFAS in the environment, despite the fact that utilities had no involvement in the manufacture or use of these substances. NACWA has been working hard to build awareness of this injustice and calling for targeted protection for water systems from PFAS liability under CERCLA, in close coordination with our partners in water through the Water Coalition Against PFAS.  

The U.S. Senate is actively considering PFAS legislation, hoping to advance a bill out of Committee after the August recess. As we work with Congressional staff sympathetic to water systems’ concerns, we continue to hear that Members of Congress need to hear from individual utilities in their home states and districts about the issue. Therefore, we are calling on you to take action today! We urge each of you to join us in sending a letter to your Members of Congress, requesting their unwavering support for CERCLA PFAS protection for water systems. 

This protection is crucial to ensure that utilities are not unfairly burdened with legal liabilities and cleanup costs stemming back to decades of PFAS releases into the environment – releases that utilities did not intentionally produce or profit from. By championing this protection for water systems, Congress can uphold the principle of "polluter pays," preventing the shifting of financial responsibility from manufacturers and polluters onto the ratepayers and communities we serve. 

We appreciate that many utilities have reached out on this issue before – such as during Water Week this spring. Don’t let that stop you from reaching out again! Take a few minutes of your time to draft and send a letter to your Senators today, urging them to stand behind the water utilities and the well-being of the people they serve. Let's make a collective impact and secure a sustainable future for clean water initiatives. 

Thank you for your swift action and support for this critical advocacy effort. Please reach out to Danielle Cloutier or any member of NACWA’s legislative team with questions or to discuss further.   

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