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Prero Discusses NGO Lawsuit on PFOA From Fluorinated Containers

May 30, 2024

Environmental counsel Judah Prero was quoted in the Chemical Watch article, “US EPA faces new NGO lawsuit to force action on PFOA from fluorinated containers,” which highlights a recent notice of intent to sue that was sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an effort to force the agency to address the risk posed by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), part of a group of chemicals known as perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS), from fluorinated plastic containers.

The notice, which was issued by the Center for Environmental Health and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, is part of a larger campaign from the two groups aimed at preventing Inhance Technologies, a provider of specialty chemicals and materials technologies, from producing long-chain PFAS as unintentional byproducts when fluorinating containers.

The article notes that the litigation threat could present a test for the level of risk needed to trigger EPA action under section 7 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Prero told Chemical Watch he has a “hard time believing that PFOA is the test case” for section 7, which is a part of TSCA that has been seldomly used. Prero added that he is unaware of “specific allegations that connect any harm directly to PFAS exposure” from Inhance’s containers. “If that was a case, and people were seriously getting harmed from these containers, you would think that EPA would have already” used section 7 to compel action.

Prero noted that the EPA will likely want to ensure it can balance any new regulatory action against existing TSCA obligations and PFAS mitigation efforts. “I think the agency is trying to control the Inhance issue, and not let outsiders dictate the process,” he said.

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