A Legal History of PFAS

  • 11.08.2022
  • WaterFM

What started as an isolated incident on a farm in West Virginia has exploded into a much larger problem found throughout the entire world. The public’s understanding of the dangers and prevalence of PFAS has grown over the two decades since the first lawsuit revealed the toxicity of PFOA.

While there is still no national MCL on any PFAS substance, the EPA’s PFAS strategic roadmap is a positive indication that there soon will be. The number of resources required for a thorough investigation of all the compounds is extensive. To amplify the problem, the manufacturers continue to develop new alternatives that could still pose a health risk and take a long time to investigate.

Regulators and lawmakers continue to explore and implement solutions to protect the public. Meanwhile, water utilities are faced with shutting down contaminated sources, purchasing alternative clean water if needed, increasing monitoring and reporting, and planning new treatment plants or upgrades to existing plants to remove these chemicals. In light of information uncovered through litigation, many of these utilities and municipalities choose to file lawsuits and hold the polluters accountable, rather than pursue government funding from tax dollars. With future generations’ health and safety hanging in the balance, it only makes sense to pursue every option available to meet the challenge.