EPA discusses PFAS regulations with NASDA members

The Environmental Protection Agency says farmers and ranchers shouldn’t be held liable for any contamination of PFAS chemicals in their fields.

EPA Agriculture Advisor Rod Snyder tells Brownfield any regulatory action will focus on manufacturers that produce forever chemicals. “Many farmers and ranchers who have faced contamination issues over the last several years was really through no fault of their own,” Snyder said. “We know that perhaps it was introduced through groundwater or through some other source, totally without their knowledge.”

According to EPA, PFAS are a class of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. There are thousands of different PFAS, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others. They are called forever chemicals because they break down very slowly over time.

Snyder says PFAS is currently more of a localized issue. “So, it’s not something that every farmer in the United States has to worry about, but there may be locations where it’s been introduced into the environment that folks just need to be aware.”

He says EPA will continue working on PFAS regulations to help protect the nation’s food supply. Snyder spoke to Brownfield at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture annual meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Tuesday.

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