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March 18, 2024

CT lawmakers propose new restrictions on private industry’s use of PFAS

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While water utility companies await new PFAS regulation from the federal government, state lawmakers are also looking to crack down on the use of forever chemicals by private industry.

Policymakers in the General Assembly have proposed several PFAS-related bills this legislative session.

One would require manufacturers that sell “intentionally added PFAS” in Connecticut to submit information about the product — and the amount of PFAS in it — to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) starting Jan. 1, 2027. Manufacturers would be prohibited from selling any products containing PFAS if they fail to provide that information.

Also, the proposed bill would ban specific categories of products containing PFAS starting Jan. 1, 2026.

On Jan. 1, 2032, it would ban the sale of any product containing PFAS, unless DEEP determined the use of PFAS in the product was “currently unavoidable.”

Lee Hoffman

Attorney Lee D. Hoffman, chair of law firm Pullman & Comley in Hartford, said he’s concerned about total bans on PFAS stifling business.

“I think that we need to think long and hard about regulating PFAS in Connecticut, without having a better understanding of global supply chains that our companies are going to face,” Hoffman said.

He noted that defense contractors, and other companies, may not be able to detect whether certain components contain PFAS.

“We’ve never had an issue where we’re trying to regulate contaminants at the micro level as we’re trying to do with PFAS,” Hoffman said. “That’s OK. Not that we shouldn’t try. However, we’ve got to recognize that this is incredibly difficult. It’s never been tried before. Businesses are concerned about the unknown, and understandably so.”

Hoffman said another PFAS-related bill, proposed by the Commerce Committee, makes good sense as it would fund a PFAS background data study “for the purpose of facilitating property remediation processes to enhance economic development in the state.”

Connecticut, like many other states, already has partial bans on PFAS use.

State law, for example, bans firefighting foam and food packaging containing PFAS.

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