March 25, 2019

March 22, 2019

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EPA Announces PFAS Action Plan

On February 14, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its PFAS Action Plan. The Plan identifies immediate and long term actions EPA will take regarding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

EPA describes the Plan as:

"The PFAS Action Plan is the most comprehensive cross-agency plan to address an emerging chemical of concern ever undertaken by EPA. For the first time in Agency history, we utilized all of our program offices to construct an all-encompassing plan to help states and local communities address PFAS and protect our nation's drinking water. We are moving forward with several important actions, including the maximum contaminant level process, that will help affected communities better monitor, detect, and address PFAS."

Most significantly, EPA announced that it has initiated the regulatory development process to list two compounds, PFOA and PFOS, as CERCLA hazardous substances. This action is certain to expand the universe of potentially responsible parties with CERCLA liability and increase cleanup costs at CERCLA sites. EPA also indicated its intention to develop interim groundwater cleanup recommendations for PFOA and PFOS in 2019.

EPA is also moving forward with the Safe Drinking Water Act’s (SDWA) Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) process for PFOA and PFOS by proposing a regulatory determination sometime in 2019. EPA will also evaluate whether a broader class of PFAS should be regulated in drinking water.

The Plan has significant potential to affect compliance obligations and costs, enforcement actions, and litigation for current and past manufacturers and users of PFAS.

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Todd W. Billmire, environmental litigation lawyer, Womble Bond Dickinson
Partner

Todd is a skilled litigator that defends companies in environmental litigation and related administrative and regulatory matters. His clients value his thoughtful problem solving approach to complex environmental matters and his environmental consulting background.

Todd represents a variety multinational manufacturers, energy companies, utilities, and municipalities in environmental litigation and compliance matters. Todd also has counseled and represented individuals and businesses in a wide range of business litigation matters, including class action litigation, securities...

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Richard E. Morton, Womble Bond Dickinson, Regulatory and environmental lawyer
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When clients face multi-million dollar environmental claims and regulatory enforcement challenges they turn to Ric because of his insight, tenacity and ability to untangle even the most complicated matters. Ric counsels companies in federal and state regulatory compliance and dispute resolution. His practice focuses on environmental regulatory compliance, litigation and enforcement defense, as well as toxic tort and products liability litigation.

Ric is particularly experienced in defending clients against bet-the-company damage claims related to chemical exposure; this includes public properties such as wastewater treatment systems. This work includes defending clients in various toxic tort and class action claims for personal injury and property damage from alleged contamination by benzene, chlorinated solvents, metals, particulates, petroleum constituents and other substances.

Ric’s domestic and multinational energy and diversified manufacturing clients include petroleum producers and refiners, petroleum pipeline operators, power producers, chemical manufacturers, tool manufacturers and diversified electrical equipment and component manufacturers.

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Bradford De Vore Toxic Torts Lawyer Womble
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Toxic torts and high-stakes environmental litigation involve complex legal and technical issues, and multi-million-dollar liability exposure. Such cases can create media concerns and governmental enforcement actions that transcend the individual dispute. Environmental enforcement matters also can present significant business risks, perhaps crippling or even shutting down a company.

When clients face such threats they choose Brad for his and his top-drawer team’s experience and ability to tackle even the most complicated problems. 

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