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States Draft Legislation Following EPA's PFAS Action Plan

Shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s February 2019 release of its PFAS Action Plan, many states are following suit with draft legislation and other actions addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).


The California Water Resources Control Board announced that it will not promulgate an MCL for PFAS in the near term and that it will immediately roll out a “PFAS Phased Investigation Plan” to obtain PFAS effluent and drinking water data across the state. Phase I will require source investigation and sampling at airports, landfills, and drinking water. Phase II will cover refineries, bulk terminals, non-airport fire training areas, and 2017-2018 urban wildfire areas. Phase III will cover secondary manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants and pre-treatment plants, and domestic wells.


A previous article summarizes MassDEP’s January 2019 development of a drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS. MassDEP will focus on a subset of PFAS compounds – PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFHpA, and PFNA – which it describes as compounds that are a threat to human health, are detectable, and can be treated with available technology. MassDEP also acknowledged a plan to develop reportable concentrations and cleanup standards for PFAS under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.


The Michigan legislature introduced three bills that would regulate PFAS. The first House bill would require fire departments to report the use of firefighting foam to the Department of Environmental Quality. A second House bill would require the promulgation of occupational safety and health rules addressing the use of firefighting foam concentrate containing PFAS in training and equipment calibration, and best practices for proper use, handling and storage of such materials. A third House bill would require firefighters to be trained on these best practices and prohibitions. 


The Minnesota House and Senate each introduced bills that would prohibit a person from “manufacturing, knowingly selling, offering for sale, distributing for sale, or distributing for use in Minnesota food packaging to which PFAS have been intentionally added in any amount.”

New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued a statewide PFAS directive and information request, which announces a notice of proposed rule amendments concerning PFAS that is to be published in the New Jersey Register on April 1, 2019. The notice will propose establishing MCLs and groundwater quality criteria standards for PFAS, and adding PFAS to the List of Hazardous Substances. 


Vermont Senate bill passed by the Senate on March 13, 2019 proposes to adopt a MCL for PFAS under the Agency of Natural Resources’ (ANR) Water Supply Rule, and would require interim drinking water testing and monitoring. The bill would also require the adoption of surface water quality standards for PFAS and a statewide investigation of potentials sources of PFAS. The bill’s proposed requirement that the ANR report on the management of landfills of leachate containing contaminants of emerging concern is a step down from its initial language, which would have required landfills to treat leachate for PFAS before delivery to a wastewater treatment facility or discharge to the waters of the State.


Bills introduced in Assembly and Senate would require the Department of Health Services to establish state health-based groundwater quality standards for PFAS. 

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 86


About this Author

Nessa Coppinger Environmental Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Washington, DC

Nessa focuses her practice on complex environmental litigation, including multi-district litigation and multi-party product liability.

Clients rely on Nessa to help them solve their most complicated, expensive, and intractable problems. She has led significant trial court and appellate matters, including federal appeals, to a successful conclusion. She has experience with a range of high-stakes litigation, including mass environmental claims, coordinated litigation with federal government entities, class action, and single-party litigation. Nessa also counsels on and litigates...

Megan L. Morgan Environmental & Business Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Baltimore, MD

Megan thrives on solving complex environmental problems and finding the most expedient and effective business-forward paths.

Her multi-disciplinary background—Masters of Business Administration, associate counsel at the Department of Veterans Affairs, judicial clerk for the Honorable Senior Judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and intern at multiple federal environmental agencies—ensures a well-rounded perspective in addressing both regulatory and adversarial issues for the firm’s corporate clients.

Corporate Responsibility and Supply Chain Due Diligence

On the business side of human rights and corporate social responsibility throughout the supply chain, Megan helps clients put policies into practice. From materials sourcing and labor to the U.S. Security & Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals rule and sustainability reporting, she adeptly navigates the corporate environmental footprint and provides concise answers to regulatory questions. She also assists clients with supplier outreach and engagement on supply chain issues, including responsible sourcing of minerals, human rights, and the preparation of conflict minerals reports and modern slavery disclosures. As human rights and sustainability become increasingly important to consumers, and thus, company brands, Megan understands the need for accessible, responsive, and accurate legal counsel and practical advice in these areas.


Megan is frequently involved as a trial team member on Beveridge & Diamond’s largest and most critical cases, including the defense of a Clean Water Act citizen suit alleging unpermitted discharges of coal from rail cars to waterbodies throughout Washington State, which claimed damages of $4 trillion. Clients value her ability to marshal complicated facts and create winning narratives in court trials, arbitrations, and agency appeals. She is also involved in contract disputes with underlying environmental concepts and routinely works with experts to develop the technical aspects of the case. Her work covers a range of industries, including transportation, manufacturing, raw materials processing, waste treatment, recycling and disposal services, and oil and gas.


Disciplined, focused, and detail-oriented, Megan employs her organizational skills to manage complex processes and ensure that clients are up to date on developments and matter progress. Her background in corporate governance and finance adds a unique layer to all of her environmental counsel.

A native Minnesotan, Megan regularly visits the Twin Cities area where she serves as a director for The Good Acre, a regional food hub working to improve the local food system for diverse, independent farmers and increase access to healthy produce for all consumers regardless of income.