Read the full article by Cheryl Hogue (Chemical & Engineering News)

“As part of a challenge to a recent US Environmental Protection Agency health advisory for drinking water, Chemours is using a novel argument linked to a recent Supreme Court ruling.

The fluorochemical manufacturer says the EPA’s health advisory, issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act, is unconstitutional. The company’s argument echoes a June 30 high court decision that limited the EPA’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

In a July 13 court filing in federal appeals court, Chemours takes aim at a lifetime health advisory for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used in its GenX process for manufacturing fluoropolymers. They are hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA) and its ammonium salt. HFPO-DA taints drinking water supplies near and downstream of a Chemours plant in North Carolina.

The EPA in June set the advisory level at 10 parts per trillion (ppt) for either HFPO-DA or its salt. A drinking water health advisory means the EPA recommends that utilities notify customers when concentrations of a contaminant exceed the level—it is not a regulatory limit, nor does it require any action by Chemours.

Throughout the process of establishing the level, the company has challenged the science the EPA used, calling it flawed. Chemours is taking this argument to court, also saying that the agency made procedural errors. In addition, Chemours makes the novel argument that although the Safe Drinking Water Act gives the agency the authority to publish health advisories, Congress failed to give the EPA any constraints on those advisories. Without sufficient direction from federal lawmakers, the agency ‘has utilized unfettered discretion to publish health advisories, thereby affecting the legal rights and obligations of companies, water utilities, and others across the country.’ This violates the US Constitution, Chemours concludes.” …