American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented April 19 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule to designate perfluorooctnoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), the two most common per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), as hazardous materials under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

“America’s farmers and ranchers share the goal of protecting the nation’s water supplies and they believe those responsible for PFAS contamination should be held accountable. Unfortunately, farmers could be unfairly targeted even though they do not create or use any PFAS in their operations, but may have passively received the chemicals. We acknowledge that EPA is saying it does not want farmers and ranchers to be penalized for a situation they did not create, but without those assurances being expressly written into the rule, future enforcement is uncertain,” Duvall wrote.

“This is a problem facing all of us. Our members, like all families in America, are completely unaware of the PFAS levels on their property until it’s too late because these chemicals are coming from outside sources. As mitigation efforts move forward, it’s important that farmers are not held responsible for the presence of PFAS chemicals, which they did not produce or intentionally use,” Duvall concluded.