PFAS Update: ​EPA to Seek Input on Adding PFAS to Toxic Chemical List

As public concern continues to mount surrounding the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, groundwater and biosolids, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of its new PFAS Action Plan sent two actions addressing the so-called “forever chemicals” to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

The EPA’s first action is an advanced notice of proposed rule-making that would allow the public to provide input on adding PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory toxic chemical list. The second action is a supplemental proposal to ensure that certain persistent long-chain PFAS chemicals cannot be imported into the United States without notification and review by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act in 2016.  The EPA has the authority to deny such “significant new use requests” under TSCA.

“Today’s announcement is just one of the many ways we are delivering on the PFAS Action Plan — the most comprehensive, multi-media research and risk communication plan ever issued by the agency to address an emerging chemical of concern,” says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These actions are intended to provide the public with more information on PFAS in the environment and to ensure that EPA receives notice of any plan to import certain persistent long-chain PFAS into the country, further protecting all Americans.” 

Lawmaker concerns

The announcement comes on the heels of last month’s Congressional hearing, where executives from three major chemical companies testified about PFAS contamination.

It was the third hearing about PFAS contamination by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Environment, and it aimed to find out the extent to which companies that manufacture PFAS knew about its impacts on the environment and health.


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