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ASTM Environment Assessments Reject Forever Chemicals PFAS

ASTM Environment Assessments Reject Forever Chemicals PFAS

Mintz Law Firm

Inside EPAAccording to reports, the United States Chamber of Commerce has objected at the inclusion of the forever chemicals collectively known as PFAS within the 2021 ASTM standard of Environmental Site Assessments. This standard was being adopted by EPA as its standard “All Appropriate inquiries” which protects a property owner of contaminated property against Superfund liability.

This will likely mean that EPA must engage in full notice-and-comment rule making before substituting the 2021 ASTM Standard for the 2013 ASTM Standard.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, including PFAS into the standard could lead to Superfund liability. It doesn’t explain why, and I don’t know how to explain it. CERCLA liability can’t be established if something isn’t a “hazardous substances” under CERCLA.

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But EPA’s PFAS roadmap promises that at least some PFAS could be considered “hazardous substances” by next-year. Many States have already declared PFAS “hazardous substances”. Regardless of whether the Chamber of Commerce object delays EPA adopting the 2021 standard in its entirety, potential buyers of property should request their Environmental Site Assessments to determine if the property could be a source of PFAS or affect by their releases to the environment.

Caveat emptor, quia ignorare non debuit quod jus alienum emitPFAS have been words to live with for a long while.

EPA has yet to finalize the rule designating [perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)]As hazardous substances under CERCLAInclusion in the ASTM standard, even if it is not a scope issue, could lead to additional CERCLA liability for potential buyers and landowners.

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National Law Review, Volume II, Number 115

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