U.S. Senate EPW Committee Holds Hearing on PFAS Liability Under CERCLA

Published On: March 26, 2024By Categories: Newsline

The U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW) held a hearing on March 20 to examine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The hearing examined the scope of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement authority under CERCLA. The EPA’s current authority is narrower in scope than its response authority under current federal law. Although CERCLA authorizes federal actions to respond to a release of pollutants, contaminants, and hazardous substances, the statute only authorizes the EPA to compel a party to pay for or perform a response action if that party caused or contributed to a release of a hazardous substance.

Because the EPA has not designated any PFAS as hazardous substances to date, the agency’s authority to compel parties to clean up or finance the cleanup of PFAS contamination is currently limited.

Click here watch the full committee hearing webcast, list of witnesses, and copies of their testimony.

NGWA has long been an industry leader in providing PFAS research, education, and resources to the public and scientific communities. Learn more by visiting NGWA.org/PFAS, which is a complete resource center about the groundwater contaminants featuring a recently updated top-10 facts sheet, a position paper, and more.

The Association is hosting, Groundwater in the PFAS Era: Stressors, Protection, and Compliance Conference, April 16-17 in Tucson, Arizona. Click here to learn more.


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