Defense and plaintiffs attorneys alike expect a wave of litigation following the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement Tuesday to set Maximum Contaminant Levels of a range of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in drinking water at close-to-zero. These chemicals, also known as PFAS, have been used in industry as well consumer products since the 1940s, according to the EPA’s 398-page release detailing the proposed rule, which will be open for public comment.

“The overarching thesis of this is: it’s a gift to plaintiffs lawyers, particularly the claim that PFOA [perfluorooctanoic acid] and PFOS likely cause kidney and liver cancer,” Lathrop GPM partner William G. Beck told NLJ. The EPA’s release includes a long list of potential health risks caused by PFAS in drinking water, from reproductive health issues to several types of cancers and damages to the body’s immune system.

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