At a national summit on 22 May 2018, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his intention to initiate the process to propose to list the fluorochemicals perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) as hazardous substances for the purposes of some federal environmental statutes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (or Superfund). Pruitt also announced that the agency would initiate steps for evaluating whether to set a maximum contaminant level for PFOS and PFOA under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Additionally, Pruitt indicated that the agency intends to develop national groundwater cleanup recommendations for the chemicals to assist with Superfund remediation, as well as toxicity values for two other types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – GenX and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid. Previously, the EPA had issued a health advisory for PFOS and PFOA at 70 parts per trillion. PFOS and PFOA appear in numerous industrial and consumer products, including carpet and firefighting foams.

For further information on this topic please contact Samuel B Boxerman or Jim Wedeking at Sidley Austin LLP by telephone (+1 202 736 8000) or email (sboxerman@sidley.com or jwedeking@sidley.com). The Sidley Austin LLP website can be accessed at www.sidley.com.

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