George H. Buermann Discusses Implications of Future EPA Rule with Leader’s Edge
George H. Buermann – a partner in, and vice chair of, Goldberg Segalla’s Environmental Law practice group – spoke with Leader’s Edge Magazine regarding the EPA’s first PFAS chemicals reporting proposal.
PFAS are defined as a certain range of chemicals used across products that are alleged to have adverse health effects. This new proposed rule by the EPA would require a breadth of businesses to record and report the uses, effects volumes, disposal of, and processes involving PFAS dating back to 2011.
The rule is expected to be finalized early this year.
“Companies will have only one year from the effective date of the rule to submit the information to the EPA,” George said. “This is a big deal, as it will ultimately give the EPA information on potential companies to target not only for product-safety reasons but also for environmental cleanups.”
The article also discussed the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, introduced by the EPA in 2021, that establishes timelines for the agency’s specific actions to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and approach to accountability for businesses.
“The PFAS Strategic Roadmap suggests that the EPA plans to evaluate emissions and mitigation options, potentially classifying some PFAS compounds as hazardous pollutants under the Clean Air Act,” George said. “They’re also in the process of establishing nationwide drinking-water limits for certain PFAS compounds, something several states have already done. The concern here is that the threshold limits the EPA is proposing at this time are so low that environmental consultants are struggling with how they can possibly be enforced.”
He also discussed the future impact on insurers, stating “insurers need to prepare now for the financial impacts they will incur down the road from these regulatory actions.”
Multidistrict litigation including personal-injury lawsuits for the alleged health and environmental impacts of PFAS are also up for review.
“The next set of cases in the multidistrict litigation coming up for review,” George said, “involve more than 1,500 personal-injury lawsuits involving cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid issues, hypertension, high cholesterol and a few wrongful death cases.”
MORE ABOUT GOLDBERG SEGALLA’S GEORGE H. BUERMANN:
George H. Buermann, vice chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Environmental Law practice, advises clients on complex environmental regulatory and compliance matters and litigates environmental and toxic tort disputes across the country. George offers clients in-depth knowledge of the state and federal regulations governing such disputes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and others.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE:
“The Next Asbestos,” Leader’s Edge Magazine, January 17, 2023