The State of Illinois has proposed new rules and a law to address the threat presented by “forever chemicals” per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The law, which took effect January 1, prohibits the knowing manufacture, sale, distribution for sale, or distribution for use of Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS. In addition, the state has proposed a rule setting groundwater quality standards for five PFAS chemicals. The groundwater standard is stricter than the health based standard currently published by the U.S. EPA. The action by the state will lead to enforcement and cleanup actions at sites with measurable limits of PFAS in their groundwater.
PFAS substances include thousands of chemicals present in a myriad of industrial and consumer products known as “forever chemicals” because of their long-term existence in the human body. States and the Federal EPA are scrambling to set soil and groundwater cleanup target levels for the chemicals.