PFAS contamination in drinking water is under increasing regulatory scrutiny, not only from the EPA and other federal agencies, but state regulatory bodies across the country. The latest development comes from North Carolina, where Gov. Roy Cooper and state lawmakers announced plans to ensure that alleged polluters—and not water customers—pay the costs of PFAS clean-up.

North Carolina House Bill 864 would empower the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to order “the responsible party to pay the public water system any actual and necessary costs incurred by the public water system to remove, correct, or abate any adverse effects upon the water supply resulting from the contamination for which the person is responsible.” Gov. Cooper supports this bill, which received bipartisan sponsorship in the House. 

Earlier this month, DEQ presented its plans to draft rules governing regulatory standards for six PFAS compounds in groundwater and surface water. The agency plans to present additional scientific evidence for these standards this fall. Such regulatory standards must be approved by the state’s Environmental Management Commission. 

Gov. Cooper’s proposed budget allocates more than $4 million annually to address PFAS contamination of drinking water. His budget also would create a dedicated team at DEQ to study water contamination issues, including those related to PFAS.

PFAS are common chemicals found in a range of consumer products and used in a number of industrial processes. They often are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down naturally over time.

Click here to read our earlier client alert on “North Carolina Develops Action Strategy for PFAS Regulation.”

We will continue to follow these developments, including the progress of House Bill 864, and keep you posted. Please contact your Womble Bond Dickinson relationship attorney for more information about these issues.