EPA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals

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Seyfarth Synopsis:  EPA, in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, requests comments on adding certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the TRI chemical list.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked industry stakeholders to provide comments on a proposal to add per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) toxic chemicals list under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act. The addition of PFAS to TRI reporting requirements would require companies manufacturing, processing or otherwise using PFAS over threshold amounts, to report releases and waste quantities on annual Form R reports.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, and other chemicals. PFAS can be found in food, commercial household products, the workplace, drinking water, and in living organisms, including fish, animals, and humans. These chemicals are believed by EPA to be persistent in the environment, that is, they do not break down, and can accumulate over time.

EPA announced this week the opening of a 60-day public comment period concerning its proposed rulemaking.

The Agency is also considering establishing reporting thresholds for PFAS chemicals that are lower than the usual statutory thresholds due to concerns for their environmental persistence and bioaccumulation potential. The proposal is part of the Agency’s PFAS Action Plan to provide the public with more information on PFAS in the environment.

Public comments may be submitted 60 days following publication in the Federal Register at docket EPA-HQ-TRI-2019-0375 on www.regulations.gov.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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