EPA Makes PFAS Announcements, Issues PFAS Strategic Roadmap and Planned RCRA Hazardous Waste Designations

The USA Environmental Safety Company (EPA) just lately made a number of bulletins relating to its targets for investigating, regulating, and remediating Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), a gaggle of chemical compounds utilized in a wide range of shopper and industrial merchandise because the early Forties. Within the setting, PFAS might be present in soil, groundwater, floor water, and the air. PFAS are ubiquitous within the setting on account of their widespread use, their potential to journey lengthy distances, and the lengthy size of time it takes for them to interrupt down. Though they’ve been topic to review for a while underneath the Secure Consuming Water Act, PFAS, generally known as “emerging contaminants,” are usually not comprehensively regulated on the federal stage. EPA’s bulletins show its intent to develop regulation of this class of chemical compounds.

Anticipated Regulation of PFAS underneath EPA’s Strategic Roadmap

On October 18, 2021, EPA issued a “PFAS Strategic Roadmap.” The Roadmap consists of EPA’s plans for a number of rulemakings to control PFAS in shopper merchandise and throughout environmental media, together with the next:

  • Emergency Planning and Group Proper-to-Know Act and Poisonous Substances Management Act Regulation

    • In 2022, EPA intends to suggest rulemakings to (1) categorize PFAS on the Poisonous Launch Stock listing as “Chemicals of Special Concern” and take away the de minimis eligibility from provider notification necessities for all “Chemicals of Special Concern” and (2) add further PFAS constituents to the Poisonous Launch Stock. It additionally intends to finalize, by the top of 2022, an already proposed rule to gather information on PFAS that has been manufactured since 2011.

  • Secure Consuming Water Act Regulation

    • EPA plans to suggest a rule setting nationwide main consuming water requirements for 2 PFAS constituents, PFOA and PFOS, by fall 2022, with the intention of finalizing these requirements by fall 2023.

  • Clear Water Act Regulation

    • EPA plans to suggest a rule in summer time 2023 that can prohibit PFAS discharges from the natural chemical compounds, plastics and artificial fibers, metallic ending, and electroplating industries. EPA additionally plans to proceed to gather information and, the place supported, provoke rulemakings that can prohibit PFAS discharges from further industrial classes, together with electrical and digital parts, textile mills, landfills, leather-based tanning and ending, plastics molding and forming, paint formulating, pulp, paper, paperboard, and airports.

  • Complete Environmental Response, Compensation, and Legal responsibility Act Regulation

    • EPA intends to suggest a rule designating PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances underneath CERCLA in spring 2022, with the aim of finalizing the rule in summer time 2023. EPA additionally plans to concern an Advance Discover of Proposed Rulemaking to hunt public enter on whether or not to designate further PFAS constituents as hazardous substances.

Different Key Takeaways from the PFAS Strategic Roadmap

EPA’s Roadmap additionally notes its intention for enhanced overview, information assortment, and enforcement measures associated to PFAS. Some vital efforts embody: issuing Poisonous Substance Management Act (TSCA) Part 5(e) orders with rigorous security necessities for present PFAS constituents for which vital new use notices have been filed, partaking in further information assortment from consuming water techniques, finishing toxicity assessments and issuing well being advisories for PFAS constituents and different rising contaminants corresponding to GenX, gathering and learning data on industrial PFAS discharges, growing nationwide ambient water high quality standards for PFOA and PFAS to assist states develop their very own water high quality requirements, and growing and updating analytical strategies to detect and monitor for PFAS.

Like lots of EPA’s latest actions, its investigation of PFAS contamination and publicity may have an environmental justice part, specializing in assortment of knowledge and potential publicity in deprived communities. Moreover, whereas sure of EPA’s proposed laws will give attention to PFOS and PFOA, EPA has expressed an intention to collect toxicity and danger data on and to control different teams of PFAS as soon as further information is gathered relating to these constituents. EPA may also set up a voluntary stewardship program, inviting trade contributors to report PFAS releases and to scale back such releases past regulatory necessities.

EPA’s Announcement on Proposed PFAS Regulation underneath RCRA

On October 26, 2021, EPA constructed upon its PFAS Strategic Roadmap. In response to a petition from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico asking EPA to deal with PFAS contamination underneath the Useful resource Conservation and Restoration Act (RCRA), EPA introduced plans to provoke two proposed rulemakings. The primary will search so as to add PFOA, PFOS, PFBS and GenX to the listing of RCRA Hazardous Constituents, which might end in these chemical compounds being regulated as hazardous waste underneath RCRA. The second will make clear that constituents categorised as RCRA hazardous wastes, corresponding to these 4 chemical compounds, might be cleaned up via the RCRA corrective motion course of.

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