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10/01/2020

Coalition Challenges New Jersey PFAS Regulatory Overreach

Today, 3M joined a coalition of publicly owned utilities, businesses, and trade and business associations in filing a legal challenge to newly announced restrictions on certain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in New Jersey.

3M supports regulations that are established with transparent processes and objective science. These regulations burden public entities and business owners without clear benefit to public health or sound scientific foundation. Through this action, we hope to ensure NJDEP follows its own rules for regulation to ensure accountability, sound reasoning, and transparency.

 

Coalition Challenges New Jersey PFAS Regulatory Overreach

New restrictions lack foundation in sound science or regulatory processes, bear high cost without clear benefits

Rochelle Park, NJ (October 1, 2020) – A coalition of businesses, trade and business associations, and publicly owned utilities today filed a legal challenge to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) establishment of unrealistic and unsupportable regulations impacting certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

The petition seeks to halt implementation of the regulations pending legal review of NJDEP’s adherence to established state regulatory processes, as well as evaluation of scientific evidence supporting the regulations. While the coalition members support appropriate PFAS management, New Jersey established these arbitrarily low thresholds without meaningful public engagement or rational scientific basis.

“New Jersey is already one of the highest cost states in which to do business. Before the state imposes even more burdens on our overregulated members, we want to make sure that costs are minimized and justified. This regulation fails both these tests and should be withdrawn,” said Ray Cantor, Vice President, Government Affairs, New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

“New Jersey and its municipalities are facing a number of environmental water quality issues with limited funds to address them, such as lead in drinking water. In order to prioritize these projects, decisions should be based on accurate scientific studies and cost benefit analyses. The significant errors in this rule adoption and the absence of a cost benefit analysis do not allow policy makers to prioritize projects, and can potentially misallocate precious resources without valid data. DEP should not move forward with these new standards until these critical matters are addressed,” said Dennis Hart, Executive Director, Chemistry Council of New Jersey.

“Having a robust and thorough rulemaking process, which addresses all stakeholder concerns, is critical when creating rules and regulations that will govern industries for many years to come,” said Anthony Russo, President, Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.  

“The Landis Sewerage Authority is a publicly owned utility. It has a long record of award winning environmentally sustainable practices and supports rules and regulations based upon sound science, thorough engineering, with both the proper environmental as well as economic impact analyses. This rule meets none of these criteria and before we are required to potentially spend tens of millions of public ratepayer dollars, we want any regulation to follow these guiding principles.” stated Dennis W. Palmer, Executive Director and Chief Engineer, Landis Sewerage Authority.

In the regulations’ development, NJDEP dismissed scientific evidence and public comments that did not support its actions – even when presented with serious technical errors. These regulations burden public entities and business owners without clear benefit to public health or sound scientific foundation.

Through this lawsuit, we hope to ensure the state follows its own rules for regulation to ensure accountability, sound reasoning, and transparency. Appropriate regulation based on the best available PFAS science can help ensure the public understands the costs and benefits associated with such action.

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