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‘Forever chemical’ response may push costs to water utilities

Jun 16, 2022

Federal efforts to address pollution by so-called forever chemicals may push increased costs onto water and wastewater agencies.

The Biden administration, in response to growing scientific evidence and calls from environmental and public health groups, has promised a series of actions to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These man-made chemicals, used in applications ranging from firefighting foam to non-stick cookware, got their “forever” nickname for their ability to persist in both the human body and the environment.

Included in this push is a national drinking water regulation, which the EPA expects to propose this fall, and a proposal to designate certain PFAS as hazardous substances under the Superfund-governing Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

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