Thomas Braun Addresses Impacts on Farmers of EPA’s Classification of Two ‘Forever Chemicals’

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In a recent article, environmental law partner Thomas Braun shared with Brownfield Ag News his thoughts on the possible impact on the agricultural industry of the EPA’s recent classification as hazardous substances two “forever chemicals”—members of the per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) group of substances known for their longevity in the environment.

According to Braun, the most likely way for a farmer to cause contamination with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is through the application of biosolids from a wastewater treatment facility.

“Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act in this new rule, farmers could be responsible for cleaning up PFOS releases connected to the land application of those biosolids, even though they had nothing to do with the PFAS and those biosolids,” he said.

Braun notes that a separate enforcement discretion policy issued by the EPA could protect farmers though it “only applies to land application of biosolids and in situations that support discretion.”

Read the full article here.

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