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Finally, EPA Aims to Make Drinking Water Safe

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US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first national drinking water standard for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on Tuesday, and the law firm Levin Papantonio Rafferty (LPR), which has a long history of fighting corporate polluters, says the action is desperately needed and long overdue.

LPR Attorney and Shareholder Wes Bowden issued the following statement in response to EPA's proposal:

"For years, industry has engaged in a war on science--downplaying the scope of contamination and denying that PFOA and PFOS cause cancer and other disease. Today the EPA has finally said enough and has proposed regulation which will protect the drinking water of all Americans. These are some of the most hazardous substances known to man. The proposed regulation of 4 ppt (parts per trillion) is the equivalent to a single drop of water in 5 Olympic size swimming pools."

Bowden represents individuals who have developed cancer and other illnesses from PFAS exposure, as well as government and private entities that are remediating PFAS contamination.

Key Takeaways From EPA's Proposed Standard

EPA's proposed standard underscores several key points.

  1. PFOA and PFOS are likely carcinogens and there is no safe level of exposure. On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued drinking water health advisories for PFAS, saying these chemicals are dangerous at any concentration.
  2. The proposed standard would enforce a 4 ppt maximum contaminant level for both PFOA and PFOS. The proposal would regulate 6 chemicals in total. PFOA and PFOS would be regulated at 4 parts per trillion (ppt). PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS and GenX chemicals, would not be regulated by a single standard, but rather by a limit for a mix of the chemicals.
  3. Water providers will have three years to be in compliance with the new maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) once they become effective.

EPA anticipates finalizing the regulation by the end of 2023, according to an agency news release. "If finalized, the proposed regulation will require public water systems to monitor for the specified chemicals. It will also require systems to notify the public and reduce the levels of these PFAS if levels exceed the proposed regulatory standards," states proposal documentation.

Wes Bowden Has Won Previous Environmental Contamination Battles

Bowden has been involved in multiple mass tort cases involving environmental contamination. In 2017, he served as co-lead counsel in Vigneron v. E.I. DuPont, obtaining a $12.5 million verdict on behalf of a client who suffered from cancer after drinking water contaminated with the chemical PFOA (C8) discharged by DuPont’s Washington Works Teflon manufacturing plant.

In 2016, Bowden worked as part of the trial team that secured a $5.6 million verdict on behalf of an Ohio resident who developed cancer after consuming PFOA (C8) discharged by DuPont into the air and drinking water of the surrounding community.

Levin Papantonio Rafferty’s History Fighting Polluters

The Levin Papantonio Rafferty law firm has been representing injured people across the globe since 1955. The firm has gained national recognition as one of the most successful personal injury firms in the world and has been featured on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox, as well as Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Time Magazine, Forbes, and National Law Journal.

LPR attorneys handle lawsuits throughout the country and have earned more than $30 billion in jury verdicts and settlements, litigating against some of the largest corporations in the world.

LPR's current environmental litigation includes:

  1. Camp Lejeune: Representing individuals who were exposed to volatile organic compounds at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with cancers.
  2. Ethylene Oxide Contamination—Representing individuals who suffered exposure to ethylene oxide from a manufacturing plant or facility in their community and suffered from cancer or cancer or blood disorders.
  3. Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)—Assisting public and private entitites in recovering costs involved in the removal and remediation of PFAS.

LPR's history of environmental litigation includes:

  1. BP Oil Spill: Served as one of the lead counsel in the national litigation against BP, which resulted in a multi-billion dollar settlement.
  2. Conoco/Agrico Superfund Site: Represented a class of hundreds of property owners and residents in Pensacola, Florida relating to claims of groundwater contamination attributed to a former fertilizer facility. The case resulted in a $70 million settlement.
  3. Dupont C8 Contamination: Reached a $670 million settlement on behalf of 3,500 individuals injured when Dupont released PFOA (C8) into the Ohio River and air around Parkersburg, West Virginia.
  4. Dupont GenX Contamination—Represented individuals injured by Dupont and Chemours releasing GenX into the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
  5. Dupont Spelter Contamination—Represented a class of more than 2,300 persons harmed by heavy metal contamination in the Spelter, West Virginia area, resulting in a settlement valued over $350 million.
  6. Pinecastle Bombing Range—Represented a class of property owners harmed after bombs and munitions were discovered in a residential and school area in Orlando, Florida.

For questions about the firm’s legal practice, call (800) 277-1193.

Contact Information: Sara Stephens | sstephens@levinlaw.com | 281-744-6560 or Wes Bowden | wbowden@levinlaw.com.