Senate Committee Hearing Examining PFAS as Hazardous Substances

(By Amanda Brosy, Matt Wood, and Jessica Deyoe)

On March 20, 2024, the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works held a hearing entitled “Examining PFAS as Hazardous Substances.” Panelists included:

  • The Honorable James Kenney, Secretary, New Mexico Department of Environment
  • Kate Bowers, Legislative Attorney, American Law Division, Congressional Research Service
  • Scott Faber, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Environmental Working Group
  • Michael D. Witt, General Counsel, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (testifying on behalf of the Water Coalition Against PFAS)
  • Robert Fox, Parter, Manko Gold Katcher Fox, LLP (testifying on behalf of the National Waste and Recycling Association & Solid Waste Association of North America)

The hearing related to EPA’s proposed designation of PFOA/PFOS as hazardous substances under CERCLA. EPA is considering development of an enforcement discretion and settlement policy where enforcement is focused on PFAS manufacturers and similar entities whose actions result in the release of significant amounts of PFAS into the environment, rather than entities who may be affected by such releases, e.g., water treatment facilities, public drinking water utilities, and municipal landfills. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) told the hearing he believes EPA’s final rule is expected to be issued the first week of April.

The archived webcast of the hearing, as well as copies of the panelists’ opening testimonies, is available on the hearing webpage.