The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and individual states are examing per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in an attempt to establish new cleanup standards, which will affect both ongoing and previously completed cleanups at contaminated sites. In order to communicate these efforts, the USEPA prepared the attached presentation. Owners and site remediation professionals are assessing their cleanup cases, both ongoing and closed, to determine whether PFAS can be ruled out or should be investigated.

PFAS is a group of chemicals with water resistant properties useful in making stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon, food wrappers and packaging, etc.), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, fire-fighting foams, and other products. Federal and state laws require owners and other responsible parties to investigate or remediate when they know, suspect or reasonably should know of a discharge. Additionally, in New Jersey and other states with privatized cleanup programs, a Licensed Site Remediation Professional’s (LSRP’s) “highest priority in the performance of professional services shall be the protection of public health and safety and the environment.” As such, it is expected that LSRPs will be on the front line of identifying sites with PFAS.

By Steve Barnett of Connell Foley