This week’s post includes an excerpt from our co-authored article “PFAS will be increasing concern for manufacturers in year ahead,” published in the Hartford Business Journal’s Economic Forecast issue on January 8, 2024.
PFAS — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — have been on the scene for years now, but we expect to see exponential growth in all things PFAS in 2024.
Governmental and private party PFAS investigations have significantly increased and, as they say, when you look for PFAS, you find them.
PFAS have been detected in a significant number of public drinking water systems, wastewater treatment facilities, private wells, surface water bodies, fish tissues and elsewhere, both in Connecticut and nationally.
Federal and state governments are also increasingly requiring manufacturers and distributors to report whether there are any PFAS in the products they make, use or distribute.
All of this investigation and reporting will lead to increased governmental and regulatory knowledge and awareness of the presence of PFAS in the environment and in a wide variety of products.
With this increased knowledge comes increased regulatory, scientific and legal action.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made addressing PFAS exposure a federal enforcement priority for 2024-2027. In addition, EPA plans to list two PFAS compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
This will significantly increase the EPA’s ability to require PFAS investigations across the country. And when PFAS are found, remediation typically must occur to minimize public exposure.
Increased knowledge of the presence and potential harms associated with PFAS has increased litigation around the country. This litigation trend will continue to grow as we become more and more aware of the ubiquity of these compounds.