Clean Water Current
Water & Municipal Groups Discuss PFAS CERCLA Concerns with White House
NACWA joined a number of municipal and water sector groups on an August 9 call with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss concerns over an anticipated EPA rulemaking designating two PFAS chemicals – PFOA and PFOS – as hazardous substances under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. The meeting follows a letter the groups sent to OMB and EPA last month.
During the conversation, NACWA and its partners outlined significant concerns about the possible implications to municipal entities if EPA moves forward with a proposed designation. Meeting participants also noted that municipal entities – like public clean water utilities – are passive receivers of PFAS, but could nevertheless face considerable financial liability if the chemicals fall under CERCLA given the law’s strict liability.
Additionally, coalition partners expressed concerns that EPA has not sufficiently consulted with local governments about the potential implications of a CERCLA designation and requested that EPA engage in further discussions with municipal entities before making any regulatory determinations.
Other groups participating in the meeting included the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). AWWA organized the meeting and NACWA is grateful for its efforts.
Members with questions can contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA’s Managing Director of Government Affairs.