Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly proposed designation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This proposal would allow the federal government to sue anyone it felt was associated with environmental contamination from PFOA or PFOS (and related compounds), even those individuals and entities tangentially connected but not responsible for causing the pollution.
“I support the cleanup of contaminated sites, and efforts to expedite PFOA and PFOS clean-up are a good thing. However, using CERCLA to do that raises many important questions, and it concerns me that the EPA is not being transparent about the true costs and benefits of this draft rule. CERCLA is a broad law with requirements that can place unfair burdens on small businesses and municipalities being targeted by the EPA with large costs. A regulatory scheme in which a small business or town can be at fault, even if they played by the rules and exercised the highest levels of caution, will cause uncertainty and lead to unnecessary legal costs.
“I’m afraid this latest move by the EPA will mean that another burden falls on Americans at a time when record inflation and supply chain problems are creating challenges across all sectors of the economy. Among those facing unfair treatment under this proposed designation are farms, municipal airports, and water treatment systems nationwide. The EPA should work with Congress in order to continue cleaning up contaminated sites around the country. If the EPA attempts such drastic regulations, it will result in only lawsuits and more red tape.”