Ann Al-Bahish, Jeff Civins in E&E News: PFAS Bill Moves Ahead Amid Legal Quagmire

01/15/2020

Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Ann Al-Bahish and Senior Counsel Jeff Civins talked with E&E News about increasing litigation over so-called "forever chemicals" that can end up in ground water and our bloodstream.

Here is an excerpt:

Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell's H.R. 535 would require [the] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water and would list two types of PFAS — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) — as hazardous under Superfund law.

While federal rules on PFAS could provide new footholds for legal challengers, many court watchers say litigation over the chemicals has proliferated to fill the regulatory void.

"One of the reasons the regulatory landscape is so complicated is we start out with PFOA and PFAS at the litigation level," said Ann Al-Bahish, a partner at the law firm Haynes and Boone, LLP.

The legal landscape is vast and diverse, spanning class-action lawsuits, state regulatory battles and property rights disputes.

"With the movie 'Dark Waters' and increased public attention, we're going to see more and more litigation," said Jeff Civins, senior counsel at Haynes and Boone.

"That's especially going to be the case because we don't have the regulation."

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