States, experts say EPA role on chemicals crucial
April 1, 2019
Types : In the News
States and legal experts say EPA regulations on PFAS chemicals are crucial to protect public health and compel the cleanup of pollution. That’s particularly the case where the Department of Defense is the polluter, attorneys said.
Tim Bergére, an environmental attorney with Philadelphia’s Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, pointed out that the EPA previously used an “imminent and substantial” endangerment clause under the Safe Drinking Water Act to compel the military to act on PFAS at the Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster and Horsham Air Guard Station. The EPA has issued eight such orders for PFAS nationwide.
Bergére added that many states have laws that are more stringent than federal standards and aren’t limited by sovereign immunity, such as a Clean Streams Law in Pennsylvania that he said could be used to force the cleanup of PFAS around the bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
“The Navy’s sovereign immunity … does not extend to discharges once they move off the site,” Bergére said.
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