PHILADELPHIA – The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) announced its support for a series of bills introduced by U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) that will protect water and wastewater systems from liabilities associated with cleaning up “forever chemicals” from water and wastewater system.
“The bills introduced by Senator Lummis are crucial to ensure that the polluters, not water and wastewater customers, are being held liable for cleaning up these ‘forever chemicals’,” said Robert F. Powelson, president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC). “The Water Systems PFAS Liability Protection Act underscores that the producers, manufacturers and parties that used PFAS chemicals in their operations are all clearly responsible parties while protecting families from being exposed to liability through their water and wastewater bills.”
The five bills introduced by Senator Lummis are designed to ensure that industries and municipalities are not subject to liability claims if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates PFAS compounds as hazardous substances. The covered entities in these bills either do not contribute to PFAS contamination or are required to use PFAS-containing substances through regulations.
In August 2022, EPA proposed a rule designating two PFAS compounds as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. If finalized, water and wastewater treatment plants removing those PFAS compounds from drinking water and the environment could be held liable when post-treatment filters containing PFAS are disposed.
“Under Senator Lummis’s leadership, we look forward to working with members of Congress to secure passage of the bill,” Powelson said.
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