NWRA Commends Congressman Mike Thompson for Calling on EPA to Treat Privately and Publicly Owned Landfills Equally in Proposed PFAS Regulation

NWRA Commends Congressman Mike Thompson for Calling on EPA to Treat Privately and Publicly Owned Landfills

Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) expresses its thanks to U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) for his letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on the agency to treat privately owned landfills the same as publicly owned landfills in its proposed regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). In March, the EPA said it may choose not to take CERCLA enforcement action against publicly owned and operated landfills.

In his letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Thompson said, “I write regarding equal treatment for publicly and privately owned/operated municipal solid waste landfills in EPA’s proposed regulation of PFAS chemicals under CERCLA.” He went on to state that “[n]early half of municipal solid waste facilities in the U.S. are privately-owned” and “[t]here does not appear to be any public benefit to regulating public and private landfills differently.”

“We appreciate the support from Congressman Thompson and his letter to Administrator Regan,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “NWRA has consistently sought relief from CERCLA liability for PFAS at landfills, and it would make no sense for the EPA to conduct enforcement at landfills differently based upon whether they are privately or publicly owned.”

NWRA, along with 30 other associations, sent a letter in April to Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) urging that any legislation on PFAS chemicals that the EPW Committee considers include a specific provision to ensure that “passive receivers” of PFAS including landfills and other essential public services are granted a narrow exemption from liability under CERCLA.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste & Recycling Association