EPA launching PFAS investigations

Published: Feb. 28, 2020 at 5:50 PM EST
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has what it calls "multiple criminal investigations" under way concerning pollution from perflourinated chemicals.

The statement is part of an amendment to its 2019 Action Plan regarding C8 and other PFAS chemicals.

The E.P.A. also says it took enforcement action in 2019 for violations against companies in West Virginia and North Carolina.

It did not specifically name the companies, although DuPont used C8 for decades at its Washington Works plant in Wood County, now operated by Chemours.

"This is the first time in recent memory we've heard about the EPA considering investigating users or manufacturers of PFAS," said Melanie Benesh, an attorney for the Environmental Working Group. "So it's certainly a change from recent years at EPA. We think it's long overdue, and we certainly welcome that action by the EPA."

Meanwhile, a number of civil trials are scheduled in federal court in Columbus this year about the effects of C8.

One of those cases, involving plaintiffs from Meigs and Gallia Counties, went to a jury Thursday. That jury reportedly was still deliberating as of late Friday afternoon.