EPA Begins Next Phase of PFAS Action Plan

On November 8, the EPA announced a public comment period on its systematic review protocol for five per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS is an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals historically used in manufacturing and consumer goods for their nonstick and flame-retardant properties. A PFAS chemical (typically perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)) is also a major ingredient in firefighting foam used on military bases to contain industrial fires. (more…)

Supreme Court Could Clarify Intersection Between CERCLA and State Law

On December 3, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, et al., a case that raises the question of whether landowners may bring state-law causes of action to force Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) parties to go beyond what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered them to do. CERCLA allows EPA to investigate and clean up contaminated sites and to recover its costs from persons and entities (potentially responsible parties, or PRPs) that have a connection to these sites. When faced with government action at a site, PRPs sometimes elect to perform these investigations and remedial actions themselves. (more…)

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week:

  • A wave of litigation begins as both supporters and opponents of the Trump administration’s repeal of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule file suit
  • D.C. Circuit declines to review EPA’s revised midterm evaluation of auto GHG standards but reminds agency of need to provide reasoned explanation to revise the standards
  • Interior Department finalizes FOIA rules