Marten Leading on PFAS Litigation
Marten remains on the cutting edge for PFAS and emerging contaminant litigation, with partners Jessica K. Ferrell and Jeff B. Kray successfully filing cases against the federal government and private defendants on behalf of multiple clients. The cases allege PFAS contamination to their clients’ water sources and seek costs necessary to protect water quality and provide municipal water customers with clean, reliable water. Marten has represented a variety of sectors, including local water municipalities and wastewater utilities, impacted by PFAS contamination.
PFAS chemicals, or per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of substances containing thousands of “forever chemicals” that are used to make water, grease, and stain-repellent coatings for various consumer goods, industrial and military applications. Studies show that PFAS chemicals contribute to serious health issues in humans, including various types of cancer, endocrine disruption, and childhood health complications.
The United States federal government presently refrains from regulating PFAS, leaving a complex legal landscape for relevant parties looking to claim damages due to PFAS contamination. Although the EPA established a PFAS Action Plan and announced a proposed decision to regulate PFOA and PFAS in drinking water, all EPA actions to regulate PFAS are non-binding thus far. The House of Representatives voted to regulate PFAS chemicals in January 2020, yet the Trump Administration indicated the bill would not receive support from the White House, and the bill has since stalled in the Senate.
Partners Ms. Ferrell and Mr. Kray have successfully challenged the federal government in hazardous waste cleanup and cost recovery, recovering millions of dollars for their clients. Ms. Ferrell has successfully represented local governments and municipalities in hazardous waste and environmental clean-up cost recovery across the country, using her courtroom experience to help her clients navigate regulatory uncertainty. Mr. Kray has effectively advised and represented multiple municipal water suppliers on complex matters involving responses to PFAS contamination to groundwater and on cost recovery for response costs, water quality treatment, and Safe Drinking Water Act compliance. With a combined 40 years of experience, both Ms. Ferrell and Mr. Kray are leaders in the PFAS litigation sphere.
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