Hepler Broom, LLC

PFAS on Illinois EPA’s and U.S. EPA’s Radar

February 16, 2021

Earlier this year, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued health advisories for several “forever chemicals.” Regulations require the issuance of a health advisory when a chemical that is “toxic or harmful to human health”—but for which there is no current groundwater standard—is detected in a community water supply well “and confirmed by resampling.” 35 Ill. Adm. Code 620.605(a). According to the Illinois EPA website, “Advisories also contain general information on the characteristics of the harmful contaminant, potential adverse health effects, and numerical contaminant guidance levels,” which “represent concentrations in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are expected to occur.” The health advisories are intended to provide guidance to local officials and community water supply operators.

The Illinois EPA explained that in this instance, the “four chemicals specified in the health advisories are compounds included in the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often referred to as ‘forever chemicals’ because of their persistence over time in surface water and groundwater.” The levels are not enforceable standards but rather will be used along with other data to develop enforceable drinking water standards for PFAS [known as Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs)]. Illinois continues to gather statewide PFAS data.

Meanwhile, Michael S. Regan has been nominated to be Administrator of the United States EPA. In testimony during his nomination hearing, Mr. Regan stated that PFAS will be a top priority for the Biden Administration. He indicated the agency needs to take a strong look at emissions coming from the combustion and incineration of products that yield PFAS into our atmosphere. He also stated that this Administration considers it to be a priority to set limits on how much of this chemical compound enters our air and water.

The Takeaway

Issues surrounding “forever chemicals” are obviously not going away anytime soon, at either the state or the federal level.

COVID-19 Updates

HeplerBroom LLC COVID-19 Response

HeplerBroom has been diligently working on its response and continuity plan to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our clients as our top priority.

To help ensure everyone's continued health and well-being, effective March 17, 2020, all attorneys and staff began working remotely. We continue to assess the situation and will return to our physical offices when appropriate.

To ensure this, the firm has identified essential personnel in each office who will make certain that critical firm functions that cannot be done remotely continue to be handled. We have put in place protocol for those essential personnel to make sure they are keeping healthy per the CDC cleaning and sanitizing recommendations. All teams have back-up personnel and procedures that we will follow to make sure all deadlines are met and clients receive the same great service and work product that we have always been proud to provide.

HeplerBroom's IT department has been working hard to make sure all remote employees are set up with equipment and access from home to limit disruption to our clients. Maintaining security and confidentiality has remained, and will continue to remain, at the forefront of all processes and procedures, at all levels throughout the firm.

The firm has created emergency communication measures to communicate any changes to this plan to employees and are communicating on a regular basis with any and all new resources and helpful information during this uncertain time.

During these fluid and unpredictable times, HeplerBroom will continue its commitment to great service and results for our clients, all while keeping safe and healthy.

Wishing you and your families good health.

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