On Wednesday, March 20, 2024, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a hearing to examine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances. Hearing witnesses include Kate R. Bowers, legislative attorney at the American Law Division; James Kenney, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Environment; Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group; Michael D. Witt, general counsel for Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission; and Robert Fox, partner at Manko Gold Katcher Fox, LLP.  

 The discussion revolved around the consequences of designating PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund law. This designation would empower the EPA to demand cleanups, potentially burdening entities with significant costs, regardless of their involvement in the contamination. Senators Shelley Capito (R-West Virginia) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) are working on bipartisan PFAS legislation, contingent on addressing liability concerns under CERCLA.