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Erik Baptist Says Industry May Support Federal PFAS Rules to Preempt State Patchwork

Inside EPA's Inside TSCA
July 29, 2021

Erik C. Baptist, partner in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, told Inside EPA’s Inside TSCA that a growing patchwork of state requirements on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may prompt industry to seek a preemptive federal approach.

“At some point you reach a critical point in time where there are too many states with various regulations and laws, and it becomes unworkable in terms of having smooth interstate commerce,” Mr. Baptist said in the July 28 article. “And we may get there sooner rather than later.”

When and if that happens, manufacturers “will go to Washington, DC and say ‘please solve this problem,’” said Mr. Baptist, who previously served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Law and Policy in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Stakeholders could then negotiate federal legislation or new EPA rules to create uniformity in regulating PFAS nationwide, he said.

Mr. Baptist acknowledged, “Compliance is not an easy world. And if you get something wrong, there could be significant penalties and fees associated with it in the various state regimes. So, it’s important that companies stay on top of this” ever-changing dynamic by “build[ing] out their compliance programs, whether internally or externally.”

To read the article, click here (subscription required).

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