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Industry Groups Challenge EPA’s PFAS Water Standard

June 12, 2024
The National Association of Manufacturers, the American Chemistry Council, and two water utility trade associations file suits to block the EPA’s final rule on PFAS in drinking water.

On June 10, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), joined by the American Chemistry Council, filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule setting individual standards for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in municipal water systems.

The EPA's new rule mandates the near-complete removal of PFAS from municipal water systems, a move the agency believes will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses.

“Manufacturers support commonsense regulations on PFAS that recognize the criticality of these substances across several industrial sectors — for many of these critical applications, there are no viable alternatives,” said NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly in a press release. “What the EPA did, however, was to bulldoze ahead with standards that set an acceptable level for PFAS at near zero—which is wholly infeasible and threatens these vital substances’ continued application in manufacturing processes. In doing so, the EPA relied on a deeply flawed cost-benefit analysis and failed to follow the clear-cut statutory procedures required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, among other substantive and procedural deficiencies. The NAM Legal Center is filing suit to overturn this unachievable standard and protect manufacturing operations and jobs across the country.”

In a similar move, on June 7, two associations representing water utilities, the American Water Works Association and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, filed a suit in the same court. Water utilities are directly responsible for ensuring that drinking water meets the new standards. In their filing, the associations said the EPA "did not rely on the best available science" in developing the rule.

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